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.
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…
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.
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!