Why a Bylaw

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2015 Top 8 Reasons for a Cosmetic Pesticide Bylaw, NOW!

 1. PROVEN SUCCESS AND GAINING MOMENTUM 

7 provinces have enacted cosmetic pesticide legislation. Over 170 communities have adopted pesticide bylaws. Approximately 80% or 27 million Canadians are benefitting from enhanced health protection as a result of pesticide use restrictions[i]. Calgary remains the largest municipality in Canada without a cosmetic pesticide bylaw.

 2. PESTICIDE APPLICATION IS NOT A COMMON LAW PROPERTY RIGHT
A Supreme Court of Canada decision, Hudson, Quebec vs Chemlawn and Spraytech 2001[ii], upheld the right of municipalities to restrict pesticide use. It was argued successfully that municipalities have a responsibility to address legitimate health concerns of urban pesticide use on both human and environmental health.
 
3.
OVERWHELMING PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR A COSMETIC PESTICIDE BAN

In 2008, a Checkmate poll of Alberta residents confirmed an earlier Oracle poll done in Calgary; that 87% of people surveyed support a ban on the use of non-essential pesticides when considering children’s health, pets, and risk to environment[iii].

 4. DEFICIENCIES IN THE FEDERAL PESTICIDE REGULATORY SYSTEM

Animal toxicity testing submitted by the pesticide manufacturer:  has limited relevance to people; is short-term; does not transcend generations; and fails to address low-dose, cumulative effects, or endocrine disruption. Only the active ingredient is tested. Combined formulations and additives to improve performance are not tested. Medical literature is dismissed by the Regulatory Agency as inconclusive despite extensive real life medical studies of the adverse health effects of pesticides. For example:  the position statements of the American Academy of Paediatrics[iv] and the American Chemical Society[v]; and the 2012 update of the Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) Systematic Reviews of Pesticide Health Effects[vi].

 5. RISK ASSESSMENT BASED ON FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS

Pesticide registration and risk assessment is based on following label directions, often in very small print, to avoid acute toxicity or immediate adverse health impacts. Even then, directions are difficult to follow such as: avoid inhaling; avoid contact with eyes or skin; or apply only when there are no children, pregnant women, elderly persons, pets or animals in the vicinity[vii]

 6. PESTICIDES KNOW NO BOUNDARIES 

Even when attempts are made to use pesticides according to instructions, pesticides affect non-target plants, insects, animals and humans. Pesticides drift in the air, reside in the soil and contaminate groundwater and surface water beyond the area of application. Household dust containing pesticide residue tracked indoors is the largest source of childhood pesticide exposure[viii].

 7. COST OF PESTICIDE USE: INCALCULABLE

Under-reported to non-existent, cost estimates do not consider: water use (provinces with pesticide bans use LESS FERTILIZER and WATER[ix]): water infrastructure capacity; greenhouse emissions; soil, water and air pollution; wildlife harm (i.e. Colony Collapse Disorder, feminization of amphibians and fish); health costs for treatment of cancer, respiratory illnesses, behavioural issues, endocrine disruption or neurological disorders.

 8. EDUCATION IS NOT ENOUGH

Reduction of pesticide use requires the backing of a bylaw as studies have proven;[x] similar to no-smoking legislation.



[i] http://www.flora.org/healthyottawa/BylawList.pdf

[iii] Check Mate Strategic Planning Inc. Canadian Cancer Society - Alberta - Pesticide Poll Research Report. 2008

[iv] http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/6/e1757.abstract?sid=fcb78147-fc60-47a6-815c-108d33892f17

[v] http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2013/acs-presspac-march-13-2013/new-approaches-for-controlling-pesticide-exposure-in-children.html

[vi] http://ocfp.on.ca/docs/pesticides-paper/2012-systematic-review-of-pesticide.pdf

[vii] http://www.healthyenvironmentforkids.ca/news-info/safety-more-theory-practice-use-directed-impossible-far-pesticide-labels-go

[viii] http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/6/e1765.full

[ix] http://www.ec.gc.ca/indicateurs-indicators/default.asp?lang=en&n=258BC62B-1

[x] http://www.cullbridge.com/Projects/PesticidesBestPracticeReview-FINAL040324.pdf