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BC May Lag Behind Other Provinces in Banning Cosmetic Pesticides

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BC May Lag Behind Other Provinces in Banning Cosmetic Pesticides

Though cosmetic pesticide use is banned or restricted elsewhere in Canada, a recent legislative committee in BC recommended no ban.

If you had to choose between an errant weed or two in your front lawn and your son or daughter’s health, it would be a no-brainer, right? The cosmetic use of chemical pesticides for residential use may be banned in many areas of Canada, but a recent legislative committee in BC has recommended no ban.

Not enough science, they say

Though BC’s premier Christy Clark has said publicly in the past that she supports a ban on pesticides for cosmetic use, the Report of the Special Committee on Pesticides disagrees. The report claims the scientific evidence does not sufficiently support such a ban.

Whose science did they consult?

The World Health Organization and US Environmental Protection Agency have both published studies about the harmful effects of pesticides. Carcinogens in many commonly used pesticides may lead to increased risk of cancer to both adults and children, including leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, prostate, brain, and lung cancers.

An April 2012 systemic review of health effects by the Ontario College of Family Physicians analyzed 75 studies on reproductive health outcomes, 32 studies on neurodevelopmental behavioural health outcomes, and 35 studies on respiratory health outcomes related to pesticide exposure in children and adults.

Their conclusions showed consistent links to serious illnesses, such as cancer, reproductive problems and neurological diseases associated with chronic pesticide exposure.

Cosmetic pesticides banned in 7 provinces

Though not all seven provinces with bans on cosmetic pesticide use involve the same level of restriction (Quebec, Ontario, and Nova Scotia have outright bans while the other four—New Brunswick, PEI, Alberta, Newfoundland/Labrador—have some exemptions), they have all taken steps toward erring on the side of safety.

BC municipalities take the lead

Though the province of BC may not take the next step toward an outright ban, 40 of the province’s municipalities have taken the lead and enacted by-laws restricting the use of cosmetic pesticides in their jurisdictions. Nineteen of them have outright bans on their use for municipal and residential properties.

Natural is better

We all know that natural is better:

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