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Cosmetic Use of Lawn Chemicals Banned in Ontario

(Beyond Pesticides, April 23, 2008) Ontario is moving to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals by banning the sale and cosmetic use of pesticides. Legislation to be introduced today would make Ontario’s pesticide rules among the toughest in North America. It would also replace a variety of municipal by-laws in place across the province.Studies by public health experts are showing growing evidence of the potential health risk of pesticides, particularly for children. The ban would likely take effect next spring. It would not affect pesticides used for farming or forestry. Golf courses would still be able to use pesticides, but must meet certain conditions to minimize environmental impacts. Pesticides would still be allowed for control of mosquitoes and other insects determined to represent a health threat.

“Our generation is becoming more and more aware of the potential risks in our environment, not only to our health, but to our children’s health. That’s why we’re taking action on behalf of the next generation of Ontarians, and reducing their exposure to chemicals,” said Premier Dalton McGuinty.

“Many municipalities have already shown leadership in banning or restricting cosmetic-use pesticides. We’re extending that protection to all families wherever they live,” said Environment Minister John Gerretsen.

Over 44 per cent of Ontarians already live in a municipality where the cosmetic use of pesticides is banned. Groups such as the Ontario College of Family Physicians and the Canadian Cancer Society have been calling for a ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides as a prudent measure to protect our families’ health.

This new legislation, proposed by Premier Dalton McGuinty, comes after years of petitions from local grassroots movements and health groups to ban all cosmetic use of pesticides across the province because of growing concern about the potential harmful effects of these products on human health. (See Daily News of February 28, 2007) The law would prohibit 80 chemicals and 300 products that experts say pose a potential health risk. Similar bans have gone into effect in Toronto and Quebec.

A draft list of outlawed pesticides would soon be released and the final list will be determined by regulation after the province consults on the draft before next spring. The main impact of this action would be to eliminate the residential use of the popular lawn herbicide known as 2,4-D, which kills broad leaf weeds, such as dandelions. 2,4-D is the most widely used lawn chemical but several recent studies show that this pesticide can cause lymphatic cancer in exposed humans, while dogs are twice as likely to contract canine malignant lymphoma when exposed to lawns treated with the chemical. Other lawn chemicals like glyphosate (Round-up) and dicamba have also been linked to serious adverse chronic effects in humans. Health effects of the 36 most commonly used lawn pesticides show that: 14 are probable or possible carcinogens, 15 are linked with birth defects, 21 with reproductive effects, 24 with neurotoxicity, 22 with liver or kidney damage, and 34 are sensitizers and/or irritants.

Action: This spring, care for your lawn without putting your health and that of your family’s at risk. Least toxic alternatives for lawn care do exist. To find out more information, check out our Lawns and Landscapes program page.

Source: Premier’s media office



6 Responses to “Cosmetic Use of Lawn Chemicals Banned in Ontario”

  1. 1
    dog looks for safe lawn Says:

    This combination of yard chemicals is used everywhere and no one seems to care. I learned that other dogs that I know in North Carolina in retirement communities are down right sick and getting sicker by the year being exposed to all this stuff. They also complain of being itchy and having a runny noes and that they arent feeling well – might there be a connection between a real fixef life span of many breeds of dogs and the use of these poisons that rub up close to my belly every time I take a squirt?

  2. 2
    dog looks for safe lawn Says:

    The United States is far too complacent in this area. Canada has taken the lead and has decided to do the right thing and protect its people. The US is sitting back and waiting for a statistically significant number of people to fall victim to the ill effects of common yard pesticides – I say why wait? if they are suspected or known carcinogens and the inert ingredients are toxic as well …why are they permitted to be sold and used by an unsuspecting public. Wake up America!

  3. 3
    Golf Clubs Advisor Says:

    Canada is actually really smart…they look out for their people in their country…which is something America needs to work more on, seems to be USA is more worried about whats going on in other countries rather than its own.

  4. 4
    ian Says:

    All around the world studies proves that then dicamba is not toxic for cosmetic uses. Canada (like Quebec and Ontario) just banned this product to be politically correct… the image is vrey important… In Quebec province, personnal use (5%) is banned and commercial use (95%) is allowed ?

  5. 5
    k williams Says:

    If it’s not toxic then why is it labeled POISON? I am continuously “amused” by those thinking that something labeled poison isn’t really poisonous… and in order to not be legally exposed, those who object to first hand poisoning must prove they aren’t poisonous…yeah that makes sense.

    So I guess the real question is??? why do governments continue to expose all of us to poisons for weed control, knowing full well they are toxic and have caused problems.

  6. 6
    Susan H. Says:

    My twelve year old shih-tzu was euthanized last week. She had been diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma several months prior. At the time that she passed her little body was covered with tumors and lesions. I feel strongly that exposure to lawn chemicals were the culprit.

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