Ecojustice supports cosmetic pesticide ban in Manitoba
Ecojustice partnered with the Canadian Environmental Law Association and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment to tell the Manitoba government that banning cosmetic pesticides will protect Manitobans from harm.
On Oct. 1, a coalition of environmental groups told the Government of Manitoba that a cosmetic pesticide ban would protect the environment and Manitobans, especially children, from harm associated with exposure to pesticides.
Manitoba asked the public for advice on how to deal with the use of cosmetic pesticides in Playing it Safe: A Consultation on Cosmetic Lawn Pesticides. Ecojustice partnered with the Canadian Environmental Law Association and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment to submit comments.
Pesticides used on lawns and gardens for cosmetic purposes expose Manitoba’s lake and rivers, pets and people to serious harm. We believe that reducing exposure to toxic substances, particularly during the early stages of childhood, will make Manitobans healthier. Scientific evidence has increasingly revealed that exposure to environmental contaminants, including pesticides, may contribute to asthma, reproductive and respiratory illness and cancer in children. Young children face the greatest risks from pesticide exposure because they are closer to the ground and because their bodies are still developing.
Six Canadian provinces and approximately 160 municipalities have already enacted cosmetic pesticide bans. We hope that Manitoba will take an approach similar to the one Ontario adopted in 2009, when the government enacted world-class legislation to protect the health of humans, pets and the environment. That law has resulted in reduced concentrations in urban streams of many lawn chemicals, and has not had an adverse effect on the appearance of Ontario lawns, gardens and parks since non-toxic options for controlling weeds are readily available. The lawn care sector in Ontario has continued to thrive.
In a world of multiple chemical exposures, prohibiting unnecessary and potentially harmful pesticides will benefit Manitobans. But it’s children who will benefit the most from legislative action on cosmetic pesticides. And we all agree that keeping children safe and healthy is a priority.