David Crowe

Some of the best features of Calgary, that make it one of the most livable large cities, are its parks and green space, its rivers and bike paths. I can often be found riding around the city on one of the paths either to get exercise, just enjoy the outdoors, or to get around in an environmentally friendly fashion.

I love the fresh air blowing in my face, but I wonder how fresh the air really is when I see signs that pesticide spraying has recently been done. And if I lie down on the grass to recuperate or to just enjoy counting clouds, am I absorbing pesticides through my skin?

There is a lot of scientific evidence that pesticides are harmful but it's easily overlooked because the damage is usually done by multiple small exposures. Many people seem to think that the current epidemic of chronic diseases and cancer is totally due to our lifestyle. But even if we individually live in a perfectly healthy fashion we currently have no choice about exposure to toxic chemicals. When the city or private individuals overuse chemicals or use them carelessly we all suffer, and that not only includes the people citizens of Calgary, but also the birds in the air, the fish in the river and the animals in our riverside woods.

I want a choice, to be able to lie on the grass looking up at that wonderfully blue Alberta sky and not have to worry about anything more significant than getting grass stains on my shirt. How about you?