Thursday, January 28, 2010

Push for a cosmetic pesticide ban print this article

Push for a cosmetic pesticide ban print this article
HUMBER VILLAGE
DR. IAN SIMPSON
The Western Star
http://www.thewesternstar.com/index.cfm?sid=320001&sc=154


Prior to, and during the Christmas season, there were several letters to the St. John’s Telegram about the use of, and place for, pesticides in Newfoundland communities.

There were the expected letters from people opposed to the “cosmetic” use on dandelions, etc., and I should make it plain that I support such a ban. But there was one rather strident letter from a Mr. Barry which seemed to claim he was speaking for Landscape Newfoundland and Labrador.

He said that the statements of the coalition concerning the removal of “cosmetic pesticides” was “junk science” and would have economic consequences for communities that went pesticide free.

He is totally wrong in claiming that the science is “junk.” Science is not simply that one person’s opinion is as good as another’s, i.e. that Mr. Barry’s opinion is as good as the many scientists, from reputable universities and laboratories, who have painstakingly done the epidemiological and environmental studies that have shown beyond question that there are links between pesticide use and human disease.

Science always questions things and repeats studies and this is how true knowledge advances. Repeated studies show the same result.

Certain human illnesses are definitely increased by exposure to pesticides. Here are some examples:

Cancer
Certain cancers, especially the leukemias and lymphomas are clearly and particularly involved. Other cancers such as breast cancer and brain cancer seem to be increased where the exposure is increased but the correlation is not as strong as for the lymphomas which are seven to eight times more common in those occupations with high exposure to pesticides.

Birth defects
Recent well-designed studies in the U.S. show that the rate of birth defects was directly related to the concentrations of pesticide in the community water source during the first three months of pregnancy. In these studies, the pesticides involved were the same type of herbicide that is used on lawns to control weeds worldwide — in Newfoundland as well as in the corn fields in the U.S.A.

Neurological disorders
Parkinson’s disease incidence is clearly increased in relationship to the degree of exposure and this is a disease that is becoming more common.
So the debate, or argument, should not be about the science ... these are facts.
The debate should be about the risk versus benefit.
The coalition is not arguing about the place of pesticides in commercial agriculture, clearly there are benefits to their use in commercial agriculture — although there is certainly plenty of room to look at agricultural practice, as organic farmers are doing successfully and reduce pesticide use. The coalition is asking that pesticides be removed, through legislation, from cosmetic use in our communities.
The argument that it is too steep a price for lawn care companies to pay does not stand up to examination.

Since the municipal ban on pesticides in Toronto and Halifax, there has been an increase in the economic sector of landscape, gardening and lawn care companies.
In Halifax, in the five years since their ban, the number of lawn care companies grew from 118 to 180, a 53 per cent increase. Statscan reports that the number of landscaping and lawn care companies has grown each year since the city passed a pesticide ban.

The large retailers are following this shift in Ontario and Quebec. Home Depot claims that some of their locations have increased their organic and eco-chemicals by 29 per cent and reduced the availability and sales of the traditional chemicals.

It is clear to me that public perception about the use of chemical pesticide use for cosmetic purposes is changing. More than 129 Canadian municipalities have enabled bylaws that restrict the use of non-essential chemical pesticides for cosmetic reasons. It seems only reasonable, especially in view of the scientific studies and of the epidemiological data, that we as a society should adopt the precautionary principle, be sensible about our health and enact a provincial ban on non-essential use of these pesticides.

At their recent annual general meeting, Municipalities of Newfoundland and Labrador supported this position on a motion brought by the mayor of Mount Pearl, whose municipality supports this proposed ban.

St. John’s councillor Shelagh O’Leary has written letters supporting such a ban. It is time for other municipalities, especially Corner Brook, to examine this proposal and do likewise.

Mr. Barry please do your research. Look at the science. Look at those municipalities that now realize that there is economic benefit to your business by going “green” and eliminating unnecessary pesticides. Local folks, please pressure your member of Parliament and your city and community councils about this issue. We hope it will be up for debate by government very soon. Best Blogger Tips
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St. John's Daily Spray Advisory

My Past Articles

More enforcement needed for pesticide spray regulations
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 413 words
Karen Griffin - Judie Squires says someone needs to patrol the companies that spray residential areas for pesticides because she's observed nine violations of the Environmental Protection Act in her Paradise neighborhood alone


Spray woes: Province falling down on monitoring pesticides
The Telegram (St. John's) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 253 words
Judie Squires - environment to become poisoned? A temporary ban on all residential pesticides has to be put into place, to protect us, our wildlife and our environment as a whole. Judie Squires Paradise


Government lax on cosmetic pesticide regulation: advocate
The Telegram (St. John's) - 08-28-2004 - 613 words
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of Newfoundland and Labrador, isn't optimistic the province will ban cosmetic use


Woman doesn't expect cosmetic pesticide ban any time soon
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - 08-30-2004 - 712 words
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of Newfoundland and Labrador, isn't optimistic that the province will ban the


Province lagging behind in pesticide control
The Telegram (St. John's) - 09-04-2005 - 496 words
Squires, Judie - it to do is to prohibit the cosmetic use of synthetic pesticides altogether in order to protect our citizens and the environment. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's


The two sides to pesticide use
The Telegram (St. John's) - 07-16-2006 - 781 words
Judie Squires - health of your families. When Canada's most respected health authorities tell us pesticides threaten our health, we should all be listening. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's


Inquiry implicates BTk
The Telegram (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 353 words
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - of trees. The live spores can be inhaled by humans and animals exposed to BT. Judie Squires, secretary of the Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, says despite claims that


Delayed pesticide laws 'disappointing'
The Telegram (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 833 words
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - at the end of this year. These products will only be sold to certified dealers. Judie Squires, secretary of the newly formed Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, isn't


Above Articles available through Trancontinental Newsnet

Time for provincial lawn pesticide regulation
The Telegram (St. John's) - 03-14-2009 - 419 words
pesticides. Please join me in lobbying our province for a pesticide ban Judie Squires Portugal Cove...

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