Regarding “City to spray wild parsnip this summer” by Emma Jackson, which item appeared in the Kanata Kourier-Standard on May 8, 2015, I am concerned that the City plans to spray herbicides in suburban areas this summer, but this seems unavoidable. Wild parsnip is a newly-classified noxious weed, found mainly in ditches and fields, alongside more than 200 kilometres of rural roads as well as pathways, in parks and woodlots. It may cause painful blisters as well as long-term skin discolouration. It cannot be killed by a lawnmower.
An ever increasing number of Canadian municipalities are now protected by pesticide bylaws and Québec Pesticide Code, by-passing our faulty federal pesticide regulatory system, which relies on undisclosed data provided by the industry and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
On April 23, 2004 the Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) announced the completion of their evaluation of peer-reviewed literature on pesticides. The twelve-year review revealed “comprehensive links to serious illnesses, such as cancer, reproductive problems and neurological diseases.” (See http://www.ocfp.on.ca.) Among effects on children were growth retardation, birth defects and fetal death. The elderly were found to be more at risk of developing Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s and Alzheimer’s diseases and the young to suffer from autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
LAWN INFESTATIONS BY GRUBS: USE OF MERIT O.5 G INSECTICIDE (IMIDACLOPRID)
Written by K. Jean Cottam, PhD Wednesday, 17 August 2005
Grubs of several beetle species eat grass roots, sometimes actually killing patches of turf that can be rolled back. Birds, raccoons and skunks feast on these spring-time delicacies. The surviving grubs eventually pupate and emerge as beetles, to mate and lay eggs back in the turf, completing the ageless cycle. Homeowners may be alarmed by these temporary foragers, and use toxic chemicals to “protect their lawn”. This author encountered some grub infestations on her front lawn on two occasions, but did absolutely nothing to get rid of them. This turf was essentially healthy and tight, and healed itself without any kind of intervention on my part.
DOGS AND EXPOSURE TO HERBICIDE 2,4-D By K. Jean Cottam, PhD
“On December 8, 2003 Nova, my two-year-old puppy, was diagnosed with lymphoma,” wrote Adrienne Beattie, “which came on quickly and aggressively, causing her spleen and liver to become enlarged, the development of anemia, a loss of weight, fatigue, weakness, coughing, sore joints, growth on abdomen, intestines, lungs, and liver, as well as swollen lymph nodes. Nova became weak and died on December 30, 2003.”(1)
CITY OF OTTAWA MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS OF 2006 AND PESTICIDES
By K. Jean Cottam
As a grandmother of two young children in Kanata, I am very concerned about my grandchildren’s potential exposure to toxic chemicals used for cosmetic purposes. U.S. independent scientists suggest that children may be one hundred times as vulnerable as adults are when exposed to pesticides. Our children are increasingly afflicted with cancer, birth defects, impaired physical development, autism and attention deficit. On the other hand, we are all subjected to all kinds of chemicals that are bound to interact. However, Health Canada does not take into account any cumulative or combined exposures.
Ottawa is lagging behind 127 Canadian municipalities that have adopted a pesticide bylaw for cosmetic purposes. Now that we have elected a new City Council, the upcoming new campaign for Ottawa's pesticide bylaw will be spearheaded by both the Canadian Cancer Society and well-informed medical specialists.
BILL 64: ONTARIO'S COSMETIC PESTICIDES BAN ACT by K. Jean Cottam
Before the 2008 spring session of the provincial parliament was prorogued for the summer, Ontario MPPs passed Bill 64 intended to update the regulations pertaining to cosmetic use of pesticides throughout Ontario. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Environment had provided a questionnaire on its website welcoming comment on the matter by the general public.