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Nanaimo will consider pesticide banqrcode

Oct. 9, 2008

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Oct. 9, 2008
Homeowners could soon find they can no longer buy pesticides or use them to control weeds and insects in their gardens.City council will consider a recommendation to ban do-it-yourself home pesticides at its next regular meeting.

The Canadian Cancer Society asked for a total ban earlier this year, on the principle that cosmetic pesticide use has no health benefits, while it has potential to cause harm.

And while the recommendation being considered Monday would only affect residential pesticide applications, Cancer Society spokesperson Adriane Schroeder calls it a step in the right direction.
"What we are strongly in favour of is restricting the use of pesticides, not only on residential properties but public properties in municipalities," Schroeder said.

Schroeder, a former member of Save Georgia Strait Alliance, said eliminating the use of pesticides in public parks, play fields and around public facilities like swimming pools and arenas would reduce public exposure to chemicals suspected of increasing the risk of cancer in humans.

The jury is still out on whether all pesticides cause cancer. But the Cancer Society is urging B.C. municipalities to err on the side of caution, through a blanket ban of their use.

"The cosmetic use of pesticide is not necessary and has a risk to human health and has no countervailing health benefits," Schroeder said.

This week municipalities voted in two resolutions calling for a provincial ban on the sale and use of pesticides.

A recent Ipsos Reid poll found that while 24% of Nanaimoites have used pesticides in the past year, 43% strongly support and 75% somewhat support a restriction on the use and sale of cosmetic pesticides.
The request for a ban came earlier this year from Nancy Falconer, a Vancouver Island Canadian Cancer Society representative. In response to her presentation, council appointed is environmental committee to study the issue.

The committee, headed by Coun. Joy Cameron, recommends drafting a bylaw by next April to restrict the residential use of pesticides, which would come into effect a year later. It also recommends spending $25,000 on public education and $2,000 on a Plant Health B.C. pest management program through Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

The committee recommends that the city review the results three years later.

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