School Pesticide Scare
Recently, just as the school year was ending in Bristol, R.I., parents were alerted to the scariest moment of the year. A homeowner near the school was spraying an evergreen shrub with a commonly available pesticide known as malathion; the drift entered the school making several students and at least one teacher ill. While the teacher and students were rushed to the hospital by ambulance, the rest of the school was evacuated for the remainder of the day.
Upon further investigation, it was discovered the home was a full block from the school.
Here is a YouTube clip about the incident: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VZaHESWeRY.
Here is a web page from the Pesticide Action Network that details the toxicity of malathion: http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC32924.
Note: In most of Canada, this sort of thing would not be allowed to happen. Having invoked the Precautionary Principle and banned pesticides for homeowner use, the nation has been an example to the U.S.