405 – 215 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON M5T 2C7
Tel: (416) 306-2273 Fax: (416) 644-0116 www.cape.ca
Doctors lead campaign to prohibit toxic lawn products
Ontario Pesticide Ban to be Strongest in North America
For Immediate Release
April 22, 2008
Toronto – The Ontario government’s proposed ban on the use and sale of lawn pesticides across the province is positioned to be the most health-protective legislation of its kind in North America, according to the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE).
Over 300 pesticide products will be prohibited for use in Ontario once the ban is fully implemented in 2009.
“We’re delighted to see the government implement this legislation so quickly,” said CAPE’s Executive Director, Gideon Forman. “This is a real victory for the protection of our ecosystem and the health of over 12 million Ontarians – especially children, who are most at risk.”
Research shows that pesticide exposures are linked to neurological illness, childhood cancer and birth defects, which is why fifteen prominent health and environmental groups including CAPE, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Ontario College of Family Physicians, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario and The David Suzuki Foundation have rallied to support a province-wide ban.
While the legislation is a major step forward, doctors would like to see it strengthened in some areas. They are concerned about the exemption for golf courses, and the use of a “blacklist”, rather than “whitelist” approach.
“The Ontario government’s ban on over 300 toxic products goes far beyond Quebec’s ban and is quite extraordinary. Ultimately, though, CAPE would like to see the government issue a “whitelist” of permissible non-toxic substances, while placing a ban on all toxic lawn chemicals. A blacklist can go out of date and leaves room for the use of new poisons that are not explicitly prohibited.”
Looking ahead, CAPE will be working closely with the Ministry of Environment to ensure the regulations guarantee the greatest environmental health protection possible.
“Our work isn’t over yet,” said Forman. ”But this is a wonderful start – and the direct result of decades of work by concerned citizens and health professionals.”
For more information:
Gideon Forman, Executive Director
office: (416) 306-2273
Farrah Khan, Executive Assistant
office: (416) 306-2273