Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The 2011 Pesticide Spray Advisory for the St. John's region will begin tomorrow.


What is the Spray Advisory?

The Pesticide Spray Advisory is a safer neighbourhood watch program.  Over 80% of Canadians are protected from toxic synthetic pesticides yet Newfoundland and Labrador have not enacted legislation to protect the people of our province from the harmful effects of these substances.  Not only do we not have the same level of protection as other provinces, our government has been turning a blind eye to pesticide misuse in this province for many years.  I developed the Pesticide Spray Advisory in 2004 as free public service and awareness campaign.  

This advisory reports the daily weather conditions as forecast on Environment Canada's website between 6:30am and 8:00am for the St. John's Region.  The daily Pesticide Spray Advisory includes weather regulations and other rules that prohibit or restrict pesticide use. Included are tips based on federal & provincial regulations as well as healthy garden hints.

The daily advisory will run from June 1st and will conclude on October 1st, however the information on the website will be maintained year-round as pesticides are often sprayed outside this time frame.

The Pesticide Spray Advisory has evolved into a neighbourhood watch program.  Citizens now have the tools they need from the information provided in this advisory to report pesticide abuse in the province. 

What is Pesticide abuse?

Millions of pounds of pesticides are sprayed by "professional" applicators in this province in each short summer season.  This does not include the pesticides which homeowners apply themselves.  The toxic drift and leaching from pesticides affects our health, our children, wildlife and the environment.

Because of the inclement weather in Newfoundland, there are very few days when pesticides can be legally applied.  

Pesticide applicators are expected to follow all provincial, federal and municipal regulations.   These regulations have been put into place to provide minimal protection for our health, the environment, the operators and the public at large.

Yet, every year the Annual Pesticide Summary, available through the Department of Environment & Conservation shows enormous amounts of pesticides being used.  With very few days when pesticides can be properly applied, this affirms that applicators are misusing pesticides and our government are letting us, our children, our pets, our water and our environment be exposed to these invisible toxic substances. (http://sprayadvisory.webs.com/commonpesticides.htm)

Federal, provincial & municipal governments are responsible for regulating pesticides. The federal government, through Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency, is responsible for registration and classification of pesticides. The provincial government is responsible for ensuring those pesticides are used in an acceptable manner as outlined under the province’s Pesticide Control Regulations as well as restricting the sale and use of certain pesticides and Municipal Governments can place additional by-laws to further restrict pesticide use to protect their local citizens and the environment.  

Our government should be by following the advice of the many heath care professionals by prohibiting use of synthetic pesticides and promoting alternative lawn and garden care for the protection of our citizens and the environment.

What are the regulations?

While there are many rules and regulations for pesticide use, I will cover more in the daily advisory, some of the more common regulations which are often not followed are:

Weather Conditions:

Wind speeds: Wind must be between 2 and 15 km/hr for lawn applications & winds must be between 2 and 10km/hr for trees taller than 3 meters. Air Temperature: temperature must be below 25oC. Rain: It must not raining nor is rain anticipated over the next 2 hour period. Humidity: The relative humidity must be above 50%.

Water Body Buffer Zones:

Pesticide regulations and labels state not to contaminate water bodies and wells, many pesticides can not be sprayed near water and residential wells.

24hr Neighbor Notification:

When a pesticide spray activity is to occur, the applicator must give verbal or written notification to all neighboring properties within 15 meters 24 hours in advance of the spray activity. The notification must include the common name/trade name of the pesticide, the active ingredient(s) and the type of pest controlled.
 
When given this notification, neighbors should be aware to close all windows, turn off the heat recovery & ventilation units in their home, take in clothing from the line as well as children’s toys and do not allow children or pets to play in the area in order to help reduce the risk of exposure

Operators must wear personal protective equipment:

All pesticide applicators must wear their protective safety equipment when mixing, loading or applying pesticides. This includes protective coveralls, chemical resistant boots and gauntlet gloves, head and neck protection and an approved mask. The label, material safety data sheet and OHS offers information on the types of protective equipment necessary to reduce applicator exposure.  Sadly, many do not.

How you can help:

You can follow the Spray Advisory Daily Blog at http://sprayadvisory.blogspot.com/.  The Pesticide Spray Advisory will offer you the tools to help ensure that the current regulations are enforced until such time our government sees fit to protect us entirely from the dangers of these toxic substances.  If you see a company or individual applying pesticides in violation to any regulations you can immediately call the pesticide control department to try and stop the activity and file a report to the Department of Environment & Conservation.  You can also inform your town council office as well as your MHA.  More details on reporting violations are available on the website. http://sprayadvisory.webs.com/

Won't that make me a snitch or a bad neighbor?

No.  You wouldn't sit back and watch someone vandalizing  or trespassing on your neighbors property or hurting their children and pets.  This neighborhood watch program helps everyone.  Pesticides applied in a wrongful manor can cause damage and contamination to property on which it is applied, drifts onto neighboring properties which causes toxic trespass, plant damage, water pollution, exposes citizens including children commuting and playing in the neighborhood, and harms pets and wildlife.

Reporting such violations will help keep your neighborhood safer for everyone.  Nobody wants to pay a company to pollute or damage their property.  Your neighbor will likely be thankful that you helped protect their property.

Reporting illegal pesticide activity helps everyone including the applicators themselves as many of them are young and unknowingly exposing themselves to toxic substances. 

For more information and to follow the Pesticide Spray Advisory:


Let's put a stop to pesticide abuse in our province and make this a safer summer..

--
Spray Advisory

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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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