Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wake Up, Freak Out - then Get a Grip from Leo Murray on Vimeo.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Ban on Pesticides in Ontario

There seems to be quite a bit of controversy over the impending ban on cosmetic pesticides this coming Spring, especially in farming communities like Chatham-Kent. I want to know what the controversy is really about. The ban directly affects residential property for cosmetic purposes – which are sprayed more intensively than most farms.

Some people claim that it will contribute to the potential fall of the economy due to job loss in this industry. However many others claim that this ban will actually create jobs and enhance our economy as more manual labour will be needed. This method also requires some specialized knowledge of plant and soil ecology which homeowners often lack - hence the increased reliance on organic professionals. Many organic lawn products are also produced right here in Ontario, yet another way of creating more jobs. Not only that, a recent survey of Ontario lawn companies show that ‘the price of pesticide-free services is competitive with traditional services and is sometimes exactly the same.’

The most obvious factor is that chemicals are man-made chemicals that have interfered with the nature’s way. Pesticides have been blamed by many trusted sources for the downfall of species including diminishing numbers of frogs as well as bees. They have also been to blame for health conditions including cancer, ADD, infertility & birth defects. Pesticides are applied to lawns for cosmetic purposes. However while your lawn may look ‘perfect’, the rain washes it into local soil & water sources including streams & rivers killing not only frogs & bees but also fish, birds, earthworms, and other necessary species.

Lastly your children play in your yard. Children, because of their physiology and behaviour, are exposed to greater quantities of pesticides than adults, and are more vulnerable to their toxic effects. A National Cancer Institute survey in the US indicated that children are six times more likely to get childhood leukemia when pesticides are used in the home and garden.^ Not only that, the pesticides are then carried into your home allowing these chemicals to linger for months and even years contaminating things like furniture, carpets and even children’s toys. The Ontario College of Family Physicians conducted research on pesticide exposure and concluded that, “Our review has found evidence of serious harmful effects in several areas including cancer, reproductive effects and impacts on the nervous system. These effects are found in both occupational and home and garden exposures.”

Some feel that these claims are false. However even if there is a chance that pesticides are harmful to yourself, your pets and your children, why take this chance? As parents we cannot let others decide what is best for our children. Educate yourself & do what you can to live in a less toxic world.