Liza Shach

I live in Canyon Meadows where there is lots of greenspace and my yard backs on to a park with playground areas.

I’m originally from Germany and was surprised when I first came here ten years ago to see how much pesticides were used here. Pesticides had just been banned in public spaces and parks throughout Germany. Germans had the awareness that as long as we continue to use cosmetic pesticides, there will be no cure for cancer - we need to prevent illness.

I also have two relatives who work for the Environmental Department of the German government who have come to visit me here and they were both surprised at the toxic pesticides that are no longer available in Germany and can be found on supermarket shelves here.

I won’t let my 8 year old son play in the park because the City sprays it. He cries about this. I also see that the signs in the Park say not to go in the Park for 48 hours after spraying and I see people go on to the park right away afterwards. The signs are so small and children don’t read - they just play!

I think a lot of people don’t know how toxic these pesticides are  - people need to know so that they can evaluate their own point of view on whether or not pesticides should be used. I usually try to talk to the people spraying the parks to ask if they know what they are spraying and the cancer risk with that. They usually say it’s a mild solution and they are protected by wearing masks. I think it’s usually young guys who don’t know exactly what they are spraying and don’t think they are at risk.

I think we need a pesticide bylaw. At least when someone’s smoking, you can leave the restaurant. Pesticides contaminate the air, water, and earth and the children who play in the parks have no choice about that. I know of a study that shows that the chance of leukemia is higher with children whose parents use pesticides in their yard. If there is even a slight chance that a child may fall ill, that is enough reason to phase out pesticides.