County, NY Declares "No Pesticide Day"
Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano declared May 4, 2002 as "No Pesticide Day," recognizing the connection between pesticide use, groundwater contamination, ecosystem damage, and public health problems, according to an Audubon New York press release. The day served as a reminder for Westchester County residents to resist using aesthetic pesticides because of their non-target impacts. It is hoped that it will become an annual event.
County Executive Spano urged all county residents to refrain from using any pesticides that day in an effort to focus public attention and understanding on their harmful effects. "Much of what we are doing is aimed at giving people the information to make informed decisions about the consequences of using toxic chemicals," said Sano.
"Pesticide create an unacceptable health risk for people, pets and wildlife and should not be used on lawns, in homes, or schools. There are non-toxic alternatives available," said Lucy Waletzky, M.D. and a national board member of Audubon.
"We are urging parents in Westchester County to sign up for prior notification of school pesticide applications," said Pamela Hadad Hurst, executive director or the New York Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (NYCAP). "Once a parent knows what's happening, we can work with them to encourage schools to adopt safer pest management practices. The notification law creates a tremendous opportunity to educate people about alternatives."
Westchester is the fifth largest user of pesticides of the 62 counties in New York State.