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BC gets 'E' grade for restrictions of cosmetic pesticides

(iStock Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – An analysis of laws restricting the use of cosmetic pesticides by a group of environmentalist doctors has produced an ‘E’ grade for BC, as well as Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The grade comes out of a recentĀ report by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). Ontario scored the best of all the provinces with an ‘A’ grade.

“The problems with pesticides are long-term chronic effects that show up sometimes only 10 or 15 years after prolonged exposure,” explains Dr. Warren Bell, a Salmon Arm family physician, and CAPE co-founder.

He says extensive research by the Ontario College of Family Physicians as well as various independent studies have linked pesticide exposure to conditions like kidney disease and blood cancers.

“The environmental commissioner for the federal government has noted that when a pesticide is registered and then re-assessed, in about 95 percent of those cases there are new restrictions applied to the pesticide because new harms have been discovered,” he says.

While BC has no provincial legislation banning the use of pesticides on private lawns and flower beds, municipalities including Vancouver, Surrey, and Richmond have their own varying restrictions in place.

Bell notes, however, that municipalities can only restrict their use, not their sale. There are also no restrictions placed on the agricultural use of chemical pesticides.

Cape argues ideally, the province would create a list of hazardous active ingredients, then disallow the use or sale of any product containing one or more of those ingredients.

“If there was even a token effort in that direction, it would be better than what exists now,” he adds.

Back in 2011, launched a Special Committee on Cosmetic Pesticides. It’s final report recommended no pesticide ban, despite the fact that two-thirds of the people they consulted supported one.