Strong Support for Ban of Cosmetic Pesticides in Alberta

A new opinion poll reveals that nearly two thirds of Albertans (62%) would support a provincial law that phases out the use and sale of toxic pesticides for lawns and gardens. The poll, conducted by OraclePoll Research, is based on interviews with 1000 Albertans from the last week of August 2016. The results are considered accurate 19 times out of 20.

The poll found that 66% of Albertans believe that lawn and garden pesticides, often called cosmetic pesticides, pose a threat to the health of children. This demonstrates that Albertans have a high level of awareness about the health hazards posed by pesticides, particularly for children.

The poll also found that many Albertans (nearly 7 out of 10) believe that pesticides present a health risk to their pets. Again this perception aligns with the scientific literature that reports increased rates of cancer among pets exposed to lawn and garden pesticides.

Pesticides used on lawns and gardens have been linked to cancer, reproductive problems, and deficits in the mental and physical development of children. Early life exposure to pesticides can affect the health and abilities of a child for their entire life. Pesticides used on lawns and gardens can be tracked indoors where they can be a substantial source of exposure for young children and pets.

Alberta is one of only three Canadian provinces that has no provincial law banning the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides. This new poll indicates that there is considerable voter appetite for a provincial law that bans the use of toxic pesticides on lawns and gardens.

“Would you support or oppose a law that phases out the use and sale of all but the safest pesticides for lawns and gardens in Alberta? The law would not apply to mosquito control, agriculture or forestry.”

Bar graph: 62% Support, 33% Oppose, 5% Don't know

Press Release (October 11, 2016)
Pesticides Policy Report (August 2016)
Provincial Scorecard (August 2016)