Daily News Archive
From June 8, 2006                                                                                                        

Canadian Cancer Society Pressures London for Cosmetic Pesticide Ban
(Beyond Pesticides, June 8, 2006)
The Canadian Cancer Society has stepped up its efforts to get a ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides in London. In preparation for a June 12 London City Council vote on a bylaw to ban the ornamental or non-essential use of pesticides, the Society launched a website urging Londoners to send e-mails to city council in support of a ban.

The proposed bylaw would take effect September, 2008, and allow exemptions for golf courses, farms, swimming pools, utility rights of way, threats to human health and insect infestations. Last week in a 4-3 vote the city's environment and transportation committee endorsed a bylaw based on those approved in Toronto and Peterborough, and a recent poll conducted by Oracle Poll Research demonstrated that the majority of Londoners supports such a bylaw:

  • 81% of Londoners want to phase-out pesticides in city parks and 74% (nearly 3 out of 4) support a phase-out on private residential property
  • 71% of Londoners feel cosmetic pesticides are a health threat to children and pose a health threat to pets such as cats and dogs
  • 74% of Londoners believe pesticides are a threat to the environment, including wildlife, air quality, and ground water

The society's national website www.cancer.ca/london, outlines the society's position on the issue:

1. The Canadian Cancer Society is very concerned with the potential long-term effects associated with the ornamental or cosmetic use of pesticides.
2. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) states that some substances used in pesticides are classified as known, possible or probable carcinogens. In some cases while evidence linking pesticides and cancer is not scientifically definitive it is suggestive and growing.
3. While most studies have focused on occupational exposures, some studies are suggesting that vulnerable populations, such as children and those with weak immune systems, may be the most at risk to pesticide exposure.
4. The Canadian Cancer Society believes that if there is a threat to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken, even if some cause-and-effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.
5. Since the ornamental (cosmetic) use of pesticides has no countervailing health benefit - and has the potential to cause harm - we are calling for a 100% ban on the ornamental use of pesticides.

The society's website counters one launched by ban opponents, www.londonpropertyrights.ca, who the Free Press City Hall Reporter reports sent 3,000 letters, e-mails and faxes to city hall opposing of the ban.

Take Action: This month Beyond Pesticides launched a signatory campaign for its Declaration on the Use of Toxic Lawn Pesticides. Join the membrs of the National Coalition for Pesticide-Free Lawns in getting signatories in your state. Click her to find a sample invitation letter, the Declaration and background materials at http://www.beyondpesticides.org/pesticidefreelawns/actions/index.htm