Raising a Sensitive Child

Nourishing Body, Mind and Spirit

We support a pesticide-free Newfoundland

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In Canada,the following provinces have banned, or restricted, the use or sale of cosmetic pesticides: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Alberta (a ban of the sale of fertilizer-herbicide mixtures) and 171 municipalities in Canada. More details in the David Suzuki Foundation Report here. Ontario and Nova Scotia lead the provinces in protecting their citizens from the use of cosmetic pesticides. I’m sad to say that Newfoundland isn’t on the list.

Pesticide exposure is linked to a number of serious health concerns, including cancer, reproductive disorders, neurological disorders, allergies and respiratory effects. Children, of course, are the most vulnerable to the ill effects of pesticide exposure.

I prefer dandelions over poisons

As you know, we recently moved to a new family neighbourhood. Happily, the cities of St. John’s and Mount Pearl and most of its citizens do not use cosmetic pesticides. See Dominique’s post about the Sea of Yellow (dandelions). Also, the majority of our neighbours do not use pesticides to maintain their lawns, including the three neighbours closest to us. Nonetheless, we were still upset to learn that 5 homes on our street and 6 homes on the next street use pesticides on their lawns. And, three of those homes are quite close to us. Ack!

It’s upsetting since just about every home in this neighbourhood has small children (including my son, who is immuno-compromised). It just doesn’t make any sense to me to use poison to maintain a lawn.

Last year, we started sending information about the negative effects of pesticide use to our neighbours who have been spraying their lawns with pesticides. This year, we sent a letter written by Dr. Rutledge, an oncologist from Nova Scotia, about the negative effects of pesticides. We’re not sure if it will make a difference, but maybe it will make them think twice…

Other links:

Coalition to Alternatives to Pesticides – NL – blog here

Spray Advisory Newfoundland – here

Pesticide-free oui 2011 – 2011 Progress Report: A comparison of provincial cosmetic pesticide bans by David Suzuki Foundation and Equiterre here.

Update:

July 14, 2011:  I’m thrilled that the government of Newfoundland has announced that it is banning the use of cosmetic pesticides, effective next year.  An answered prayer. I am very grateful! Yippee!

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3 thoughts on “We support a pesticide-free Newfoundland

  1. Time to move to Ontario, Janice. 🙂

    In all seriousness though, I’m sorry. It’s only grass, after all. Why do people feel the need to use chemicals to keep it looking “nice?” I think so much of this has to do with what people believe is acceptable – and how they feel they might be perceived by others. I say, “Who cares.”

    When Ontario banned chemicals for cosmetic use (except for farmers and golf courses… can you believe that?) my parents claimed they would just drive across to Michigan (they are on the border) and pick them up. SERIOUSLY. It’s freakin’ grass. I don’t know if they do. I’m half scared to ask because it means we won’t be visiting any more as Isaac plays on that grass. Hmmmm I need to ask.

    I applaud all your hard work in attempting to protect your neighbourhood and your province. Your voice will be heard…an something WILL change. xo

  2. I have no idea who uses pesticides in our neighborhood. I tell my husband not to use them. I tell him that if a baby can’t crawl around on the grass then he can’t use it. I actually don’t think anyone in our neighborhood cares that much about their lawns, anyway, lol. What’s so bad about just pulling out the weeds anyway? It seems so much simpler just to pull them out them spray them to death with chemicals.

  3. Debbie: Thanks for your support of a pesticide-free Newfoundland! I can’t believe how behind we are on this issue!! Way to go, Ontario!!

    Lisa: We can tell who uses pesticides by the pesticide signs that are out on the lawns… DH has been keeping track of them during his runs… Good to hear that most of your neighbours don’t. I do think the consciousness is changing about this.

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