Pesticides in Canada are widespread and commonly used in households- yet few Canadians are informed about the negative effects of these chemicals. Pesticide regulation in Canada is seen as inadequate by many and pesticides are promoted as “safe”; the risks associated with their use minimized. The continued use of pesticides in Canada contributes to a build-up of harmful chemicals in the environment.
According to Canadian studies, DDT and DDE residual levels in the breast milk to Inuit women in the Eastern Arctic are 1210 parts per billion, compared to 171 parts per billion in women in Southern Ontario. The extreme levels of persistent pesticides in Arctic people and animals high on the food chain are largely a result of transboundary transport and bioaccumulation. Similar build-ups of other harmful pesticides have been recorded in various parts of Canada including the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River and the Prairies.
Over 34 million kilograms of pesticides are used annually across Canada. According to the National Research Council, expenditures on pesticides have doubled between 1980 and 1990 and have increased eightfold since 1970.
Petition to eliminate the use of cosmetic pesticides in Edmonton
We are hoping that Edmonton City Council will pass a bylaw banning the use of non-essential pesticides on city property - parks, schoolyards and playgrounds, and on private property. With enough public pressure this could happen.
This petition will be presented to City Council. Please sign it if you believe, as I do, that pesticides are dangerous to our health and to that of our children, grandchildren, our pets and our environment:
What are pesticides?
A pesticide is a chemical substance that kills organisms that we consider undesriable. Common types of pesticides include insecticides (kills insects), herbicides (kills weeds), fungicides and rodenticides. Pesticides are composed of 'active ingredients' that kill the targeted organisms, plus 'formulants' - other chemical that act as solvents, dilutents or emulsifiers. These formulants may even be more toxic than active ingredients.
Pesticides Affect Everyone's Health
Pesticides put people and animals at risk. Young children are especially vulnerable because of their size and their developing immune system. Although the effects of pesticide use over several years or a lifetime are not fully understood, the immediate health effects on people who are over-exposed to pesticides may include:
Skin & Eye Irritation Stomach cramps Headaches
Tiredness Dizziness Nausea
Chronic Effects of Pesticide Exposure
"Repeated exposure to pesticides has been linked to neurological problems, brain and lung cancer, immune suppression (which creates environmental hypersensitivity), leukemia, Parkinson's disease, kidney damage, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and reproductive disorders, endochrine disruption, low sperm count and sterility."
-Source: Environment Canada. Pesticides, the Right Amount. Ottawa, 1989.
Recent Reports on the Impact of Pesticides
Pesticides - Making the Right Choice for the Protection of Health and the Environment (The Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, May 2000) www.charlescaccia.parl.gc.ca and click on publications.