ORADELL - Hours after Memorial Field on Oradell Avenue in Oradell was sprayed with toxic chemicals, children were allowed to play on it. Studies say the chemicals applied to the grass can cause irreversible eye damage, skin irritation, and respiratory problems.

Now, a debate rages on over the effect the pesticides could have on the children. Oradell mother Nancy Shapiro is on a crusade against pesticides after recently learning kids were allowed to play on the field. She says the Department of Public Works did not notify the school across the street or the athletic department about the pesticide. The next day, she says, public works employees mowed the lawn and pulled up all but one of the signs, warning people to stay off the grass for three days.

City officials reportedly want to improve communication between the public works department and the school system about how and when pesticides are applied. There is currently a bill in the state Assembly that would restrict the use of lawn care pesticides at certain child care centers, schools and recreation fields in New Jersey.