Petition Closed
Petitioning Office of the Mayor, The City of Calgary Naheed Nenshi

Ban the application of pesticides and herbicides in Calgary's parks and Recreation fields


Calgary is my home and I love being a part of this city but come spring and summer time you start seeing warning signs all around neighborhoods at each park, about herbicide application. This is extremely disappointing considering the amount of research out there that has been showing how toxic these applications are to our health and well being.  It not only leaves me frustrated and angry that no one is doing anything about it, but it makes me apprehensive about going outside and enjoying our beautiful city. The saddest, most alarming part is, these parks are primarily populated with young children and animals.

Children face unique hazards from pesticide exposure. They take in more pesticides relative to their body weight than adults in the food they eat and air they breathe. Their developing organ systems often make them more sensitive to toxic exposure. The body of evidence in scientific literature shows that pesticide exposure can adversely affect a child's neurological, respiratory, immune, and endocrine system, even at low levels.
 
Many people think that the pesticides “wear off,” and that children are not being exposed. However, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found multiple pesticide residues, including the herbicide 2,4-D, in the bodies of children ages 6-11 at significantly higher levels than all other age categories. Herbicides such as 2,4-D and Mecoprop, chemicals tied to respiratory ailments, are found in 15 percent of children tested, ages 3 to 7, whose parents had recently applied the lawn chemicals. Additionally, scientific studies show that herbicides such as 2,4-D are tracked indoors from lawns where residues may remain for up to a year in carpets, dust, air and surfaces.

Applying these known toxins to our parks puts all of our health at risk, no matter what part of the city we live in.

We as a community need to stand up for what is right.

There is absolutely NO reason why a city like Calgary should still be using harmful pesticides when healthier, non-toxic alternatives are readily available. A substantial aspect of sustainability is the health, safety and quality of life of the population.

Can we honestly say, that we as a community, have put the health and safety of our children at the top of the priority list if we continue to expose them, and ourselves, to toxic posions?  Are you as a member of society aware of the immediate and long term impact of pesticide use and the effect on the lungs and overall health of our children? Is this not worth our attention?

Please sign this petition to prevent our parks from becoming a toxic play area, and keep our community happy and healthy.

Letter to
Office of the Mayor, The City of Calgary Naheed Nenshi
I support City Council passing a bylaw that will phase out the use of pesticides on private and public lands in Calgary.

I want pesticides phased out because of the health risks that pesticides pose, to humans, pets, wildlife, and especially to children. There are other effective natural alternatives to managing landscapes versus the use of poisons designed to kill. In the long run the use of pesticides is not sustainable as pesticide resistances force the use of stronger and more potent toxins to achieve the desired affect

Children face unique hazards from pesticide exposure. They take in more pesticides relative to their body weight than adults in the food they eat and air they breathe. Their developing organ systems often make them more sensitive to toxic exposure. The body of evidence in scientific literature shows that pesticide exposure can adversely affect a child's neurological, respiratory, immune, and endocrine system, even at low levels.

Many people think that the pesticides “wear off,” and that children are not being exposed. However, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found multiple pesticide residues, including the herbicide 2,4-D, in the bodies of children ages 6-11 at significantly higher levels than all other age categories. Herbicides such as 2,4-D and Mecoprop, chemicals tied to respiratory ailments, are found in 15 percent of children tested, ages 3 to 7, whose parents had recently applied the lawn chemicals. Additionally, scientific studies show that herbicides such as 2,4-D are tracked indoors from lawns where residues may remain for up to a year in carpets, dust, air and surfaces.

Moreover the application is harmful to the amazing wildlife we are so fortunate enough to see in our own backyards, and our own pets, too. It endangers their health and continued application of these substances could eliminate wildlife from our communities.

There are many ways to organically manage green space and control weeds. Chemicals are not the only solution, nor are they the best. While initial costs to transition a chemical-dependent turf to organic care can be higher, in the long-run costs will be lower as inputs, like fertilizer and water, decrease.

But I ask you, what is the cost of NOT going organic? What is the cost of exposing developing children to known cancer causing, endocrine disrupting, and asthma triggering chemicals where they play for long hours? The price of getting rid of dandelions and other ‘annoying’ weeds is much too high if it means risking the health of my children.

I ask that you seriously consider the many healthy alternatives to pesticide use in Calgary public spaces, in addition to proposing a bylaw to phase out the unnecessary use of pesticides on public and private lands in Calgary. Vancouver, Halifax, Toronto and the entire Province of Quebec have laws protecting their citizens from unnecessary pesticide use. It’s time that Calgary make this a part of our vision, making the health and safety of our children and community a top priority.

Will you support a pesticide bylaw when it is brought before Council? If not, why not? What would it take to convince you to support a pesticide bylaw?

Thank you for your consideration,