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Forum to Study Risks of Pesticides to Pupils

April 20, 1999|NANCY FORREST

The potential health risks of using agricultural pesticides near Ventura County schools will be discussed during a public forum May 3.

Sponsored by the Central Coast Environmental Health Project, the forum will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Radisson Inn, 600 Esplanade Drive.

"This is a sensitive topic and we are enthusiastic that the event is taking place," said Lolita Echeverria, project coordinator for the organization.

The forum is designed to bring together teachers, school board trustees, school representatives, parents and students to educate them about the problems associated with potential exposure to pesticides, Echeverria said.

Dr. Robert Levin, Ventura County's health officer, will be the moderator. Charles Weis, county superintendent of schools, will open the forum and be followed by Cesar Hernandez, a California Rural Legal Assistance community worker.

Teacher Janet Lapins will provide an overview of local concerns, and Agricultural Commissioner Earl McPhail will discuss reasons why schools should not be located in agricultural areas. Other speakers will include physicians Mathew Marguilies and Harvey Karp, and Louis Varga of the Bakersfield School District, who will speak on alternatives to locating schools on the urban fringe.

Sharon Seidel of the state Department of Health Services will answer questions.

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