Attachment A: Safer Chemical Management Procedure

County of Albemarle / Albemarle County Public Schools

Subject:  Safer Chemical Management / Integrated Pest Management

Document No.:


Issue Date:


Last Revised:



 PAGE 1 of 4

Prepared By:


Approved By:




1.0       purpose

The purpose of this procedure is to ensure a safer approach to the selection and application of custodial, grounds and pest control operations within the County of Albemarle, as the County aims to minimize chemical usage to the greatest extent practicable in its day-to-day operations and activities.  This procedure is intended to be implemented as part of the County’s and Schools’ respective Environmental Management Policies (AP-X).


2.0       definitions  

A.     Carcinogens refer to any substance or agent that can cause cancer.  Compound listed in the latest edition of the Annual Report on Carcinogens, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Toxicology Program as known or reasonably anticipated to be carcinogenic.

B.     A disinfectant is used on hard inanimate surfaces and its objective is to destroy or irreversibly inactivate infectious fungi and bacteria but not necessarily their spores. Disinfectant products are divided into two major types: hospital and general use. Hospital type disinfectants are the most critical to infection control and are used on medical and dental instruments, floors, walls, bed linens, toilet seats, and other surfaces. General disinfectants are the major source of products used in households, swimming pools, and water purifiers. (EPA: Pesticides – Antimicrobial Pesticide Products Factsheet;

C.     Endocrine disruptors are exogenous substances that act like hormones in the endocrine system and disrupt the physiologic function of endogenous hormones.

D.     Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a pest control strategy that promotes the use of a variety of tactics including pest-resistant cultivars and biological, cultural, and physical controls. Pesticides are a control tactic employed in IPM, but are only used when needed.  When a pest problem is identified and non-chemical means are exhausted, only the least toxic and most effective pesticide is used.

E.      A mutagen is a physical or chemical agent that changes the genetic information (usually DNA) of an organism and thus increases the frequency of mutations above the natural background level.

F.      A neurotoxin is a substance that is poisonous to nerve tissue (i.e., lead, mercury).

G.     A teratogen is any medication, chemical, infectious disease, or environmental agent that might interfere with the normal development of a fetus and result in the loss of a pregnancy, a birth defect, or a pregnancy complication.

H.     A sanitizer is used to reduce, but not necessarily eliminate, microorganisms from the inanimate environment to levels considered safe as determined by public health codes or regulations. Sanitizers include food contact and non-food contact products. Sanitizing rinses for surfaces such as dishes and cooking utensils, as well as equipment and utensils found in dairies, food-processing plants, and eating and drinking establishments comprise the food contact Sanitizers. These products are important because they are used on sites where consumable food products are placed and stored. Non-food contact surface sanitizers include carpet sanitizers, air sanitizers, laundry additives, and in-tank toilet bowl sanitizers.  (EPA: Pesticides – Antimicrobial Pesticide Products Factsheet;

I.        Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gases emitted from certain solids or liquids, which may have adverse health effects (i.e., paints, varnishes, pesticides, cleaning supplies). (


3.0       procedures  

A.     Custodial Operations

Custodial categories include multipurpose cleaners (e.g. surface cleaners, floor cleaners), specialty cleaners (e.g., floor strippers, floor finishes and glass cleaners) and disinfectants. 

  1. Multipurpose and Specialty Cleaners 
    1. Products used shall be certified by Green Seal, Green Guard or Environmental Choice
    2. If a product does not have such certification, the product shall not contain carcinogens, mutagens, teratogens, endocrine disruptors, or neurotoxins, and contain low or no volatile organic compounds (VOC).
  1. Sanitization and Disinfection

Option A:

    1. High-touch areas (e.g. bathrooms, first aid/nurse stations and kitchens) will be routinely sanitized or disinfected as deemed appropriate by the manager overseeing custodial operations for the facility.
    2. Disinfectants shall be used in response to blood borne pathogen or bodily fluid incidents, in response to viral outbreaks, or as directed by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

Option B:

a.    High-touch areas will be routinely cleaned or sanitized as deemed appropriate by the manager overseeing custodial operations for the facility.

b.    Disinfectants shall be used in response to blood-borne pathogen or bodily fluid incidents, in response to viral outbreaks, or as directed by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).


B.     Grounds Care

“Grounds care” includes both the management of grounds and outdoor pests.

  1. Grounds care departments will continually evaluate the feasibility of changing traditional practices in the interest of eliminating chemical usage (e.g., manually pulling weeds).
  2. If it is determined that a chemical application is necessary, then organic or biologically-based alternatives shall be used, with the following exceptions:

a.       Treatment of stumps of woody invasive species and poison ivy

b.       Use of non-selective herbicides for spot-treatments of skinned areas of baseball infields and warning tracks as needed

c.       One-time application of broad-leaf pre-emergent herbicide to reduce broadleaf weeds, so that Bermuda grass can compete with crabgrass for establishment of a new field

d.        Emergency spot treatment for grub worms

e.       Spot treatment of parking lots, along rip-rap and in ditches

  1. Any County employee or contractor applying pesticides on County or School Board-owned property must hold a current Registered Technician or Commercial Applicator License as issued by Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).
  2. Each application of pesticide or herbicide must be documented on the “Pesticide/Herbicide Tracking Log” (Appendix A), including the amount applied, active ingredient and application location.  Tracking logs will be maintained by the Environmental Compliance Managers.


C.     Indoor Pest Management

A formal Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program for each school and local government building will be completed by August 2008.  IPM procedures will be incorporated as a separate procedure of the Environmental Management Policy.  Until a separate IPM Procedure is completed, the following steps will be used to make a decision regarding each indoor pest management need:

  1. Physical means of preventing pests will be implemented first.
  2. When pesticides are used, only the least toxic with the most effective outcome shall be used. 
  3. Records of all pesticide applications indicating the amount of pesticide, active ingredient and affected area will be maintained by the Environmental Compliance Managers.


D.     Employee Safety

  1. County employees will have access to Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all products used.  Employees shall follow all guidelines and instructions listed on MSDS, including personal protective equipment (PPE) recommendations.
  2. Hazard Communication (HAZCOM) training shall be provided to all employees before use of any product requiring a MSDS.


E.      Annual Audit

An annual audit of this procedure will be conducted by the Environmental Compliance Managers.  An audit report will be presented to the Board annually for review. 


F.      Waiver Process

If a situation arises requiring the use of a product that does not meet the above specifications (e.g., not Green Seal certified), then a waiver must be applied for and approved before a product may be purchased or used:

  1. The Waiver Request (Appendix B) shall be submitted to the Environmental Compliance Manager for the schools or local government, as appropriate, and shall include: the purpose of the requested chemical, the MSDS, the area where the chemical will be used, the anticipated frequency and duration of use, application technique, and anticipated usage amount.
  2. If a waiver is granted, the written waiver will include an expiration date, and alternatives consistent with the procedure must be explored when the waiver expires.  All granted waivers will be presented with the annual audit results to the Board.


G.     Exemptions

Exemptions to the waiver process include (1) emergency situations that could impact human health or safety, and (2) practices required in order to maintain insurance policies. If an emergency situation requiring chemical use arises that is not identified in this section, the request for use of a product or practice must go through the Waiver Process, as described in Section F.  The following are exemptions to Sections A, B, and C of this procedure:   

1.       Treatment of bees, wasps or hornets

2.       Periodic termite treatment or other insurance-related pest control requirements



Appendix A

Pesticide / Herbicide / Fertiziler Application Records


Time of Application (Indicate AM or PM)





Brand Name
(Be as Specific as Possible)

Amount Applied (gallons - otherwise indicate units)

Type of Area Treated

Size Area Treated

Treating For?

Re-entry Time?
(N/A if not applicable)

Name of Applicator



































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