The following joint news release has been issued on behalf of the Newfoundland and Labrador Pesticides Coalition, Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association.
October 1, 2009
St. John’s, NL - The Newfoundland and Labrador Pesticides Coalition is pleased to share the results of a recent poll, commissioned by the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association (NLMA) and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), which asked residents of this province about the use of cosmetic pesticides.
The poll indicates that the majority of people (68 percent) either mostly or completely support a ban of cosmetic pesticides. The majority (72 percent) of those surveyed also feel that lawn pesticides used in their communities threaten the environment. While the greatest majority (76 percent) of those surveyed believe that lawn pesticides used in their community threaten children’s health. On another positive note, when compared to the 2006 Statistics Canada survey, it appears that pesticide use is declining.
"The people of this province are saying lawn pesticides threaten the most important things in their lives: the environment and their children," says Gideon Forman, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. "And that's why they are calling on the Provincial Government to ban these toxic chemicals."
The coalition is particularly pleased to be able to share these results as they have secured a meeting with the Honorable Charlene Johnson, Minister of Environment and Conservation and the Honorable Paul Oram, Minister of Health and Community Services to discuss the issue of a cosmetic pesticide ban.
“Public education remains an important piece in calling for a ban on the use and sale of cosmetic pesticides,” says Emma Housser, Policy Analyst, Canadian Cancer Society – Newfoundland and Labrador Division. “Pairing awareness of the issue and knowledge regarding healthy alternatives with solid legislation will help to protect the people of this province from these potentially harmful chemicals.”
As we leave summer behind and enter into the fall months there are a few things that everyone can do to maintain a healthy lawn and garden in order to prepare it for the winter and allow for optimal health in the spring and summer:
- Fall is the best time to plant new seed and thicken up your lawn;
- Aerate – this will loosen up the soil and feed the roots;
- Fewer weeds in the fall will mean less weeds to compete with newly planted grass in the spring; and
- Use compost or all-organic fertilizer in the fall to feed the roots of your lawn.