Daily News Archive
June 8, 2006
Cancer Society Pressures London for Cosmetic Pesticide Ban
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.
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
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
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
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.