Pesticides are seriously harmful to our heath, to our children, to our pets, and to our environment. There are many natural and safe alternatives for dealing with weeds in lawns and gardens. Resources are available on this site, at your local library, in public workshops, and online.
The provincial government has re-opened debate on the cosmetic pesticide ban. Please follow the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Working Group Facebook page for updates, and let the government know that you support the ban. Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org until Sept.12.
This recent article from Green Action Centre gives a good overview of the process that led to the provincial ban of cosmetic pesticides back in 2014.
Below are some great links that demonstrate, from a wide variety of perspectives, why cosmetic pesticides are harmful and unnecessary. More information is also available from our August 2012 background document.
Canadian Cancer Society’s position on cosmetic pesticides:
“We are very concerned about the cosmetic and non-essential use of potentially cancer-causing substances on green spaces. The Society calls for a ban on the use and sale of cosmetic pesticides.”
“Our position is based on the current body of evidence suggesting a connection between pesticides and cancer. Moreover, the cosmetic use of pesticides may cause harm and provides no health benefit. According to the precautionary principle, ‘When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause-and-effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.'”
Visit the Canadian Cancer Society website to read more.
The Ontario College of Family Physicians released a systematic review of Pesticide Health Effects in 2012 (and previously in 2004). They found consistent links between pesticide exposure and cancer, developmental problems in children, neurological illnesses, and others. Please see the report for more information.
The Canadian Environmental Law Association makes a great point:
No one can prove pesticides are ‘safe’. It may be difficult to prove that there is a link between cosmetic pesticides and health problems (because we are exposed to so much, we can’t test on humans, many of the negative effects take years to manifest themselves, etc.) and environmental problems, but it can definitely be said these chemicals aren’t safe. Please read this excellent article which disputes that cosmetic pesticides are safe because they are regulated by Health Canada.
This video from the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (and their August, 2016 op-ed in the Winnipeg Free Press: Pesticides ban protects health):
Further to this: Why Science Can’t Prove a Pesticide is Safe.