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Pesticide Ban Proposed in Suffolk County, NY
Historically, pesticide regulation is the domain of the state level Department of Environmental Conservation. In fact, Schneiderman has actually worked with State Assemblyman Fred Thiele in the past to ban carcinogenic pesticides. Bills that Thiele backed passed the State Assembly, but were later killed when they reached the State Senate. “The agri-chemical lobby is enormous and very powerful,” Schneiderman said this week. “For four years, the bills never got out of committee. They never are going to get out of committee. That’s why I’m doing this.”
Scheiderman additionally points out that laws can be passed on a local level since this is a public health issue. “The studies the [Suffolk County] Health Department has conducted in the past have repeatedly shown that the number one groundwater contaminant in the county is pesticides,” he said.
"The state empowers counties to make public health decisions," Schneiderman said. "We're talking about acute human toxins."
The bill states that Suffolk has "several documented, yet unexplained, cancer clusters, as well as a breast cancer rate above the national average.”
lawn chemicals are associated with cancer, birth defects, reproductive
effects, neurotoxicity, liver and kidney damage and acute health effects.
These chemicals are unnecessary. Currently, there is a plethora of safe
and effective alternative
lawn care options that homeowners can choose from.
"We get about 120 bills a year and we don't take any of them lightly," Seme said. "When you get down to the county level, there's a lot more chance these issues can erupt. At the state level there's more balance. But on Long Island, they have a mind of their own down there."
Read more about the industry attack on environmentalists and health advocates here.
ACTION: Contact your local representatives and call for
an end to cosmetic pesticide use in your community. Use information
on lawn chemical toxicity and alternatives from our Lawns & Landscapes
“Tools for Activists.”