Stop spraying Laguna Hills with toxic pesticides
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Non Toxic Laguna Hills (NTLH) is asking our city leaders to make our health a priority and stop spraying toxic pesticides in our community green spaces and hardscapes. We ask for a move to an organically driven IPM for our city by June 2019 if not sooner.
Who are we?
We are a group of concerned residents who live in Laguna Hills and wish to ensure that our health and that of our loved ones, especially our most vulnerable residents such as infants and children, pregnant women, the immune-compromised, the elderly and pets, are protected from unnecessary and potentially cancer-causing and body-damaging toxic chemicals. We would like to explore safer alternatives that have been proven successful in other local communities.
What's the problem?
In Laguna Hills many toxic pesticides are used for primarily cosmetic reasons to maintain our landscapes including glyphosate (the key ingredient in Roundup), 2,4 D, and more.
Why is this a problem?
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Health Organization (WHO), declared that glyphosate probably causes cancer in humans. Glyphosate has also been linked with endocrine disruption, reproductive problems, kidney and liver damage, and is an irritant and sensitizer. 2,4-D is another herbicide used in our city that is a key ingredient in agent orange. This herbicide is linked with cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive problems, neurotoxicity, kidney and liver damage, birth defects, and is an irritant and sensitizer. Many pesticides have also been connected to other negative health effects and diseases like asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and more. To make matters worse, the U.S. Geological Survey found that, “After they are applied, many pesticides volatilize into the lower atmosphere, a process that can continue for days, weeks, or months after the application, depending on the compound. In addition, pesticides can become airborne attached to wind-blown dust.”
It’s extremely alarming that children are especially vulnerable to pesticide exposure because they are more physical in their environment, closer to the ground, take in more pesticides relative to their body weight, and their bodies and brains are still developing. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that there is “no safe level of pesticide exposure for children.” Horses, dogs, cats, wild animals and vulnerable populations such as the elderly are also particularly at risk. We have all of these populations in Laguna Hills and we need to protect them.
What's the solution?
Thankfully there are cost effective and now proven solutions when it comes to organic landscaping practices from organic herbicides to compost top-dressing to appropriate turf height maintenance to testing the soil ph and more. Organic landscape management is less expensive in the long-run and uses 80% less water by eliminating soil compaction caused by pesticides, which makes the soil spongier and better able to absorb water. Organic landscaping also builds the biodiversity of the soil, making desired plants healthier and better able to resist weeds. Non Toxic Neighborhood (NTN) recommends this list of preferred landscape products when needed. Finally, NTN is willing to help our city and share best practices from other cities, HOA's, and school districts that have successfully integrated these practices.
Has this already been done?
Cities across the U.S., including Irvine, San Juan Capistrano, Burbank and Carlsbad, have banned the use of carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting pesticides, including, but not limited to, glyphosate and 2,4-D. We would like to see Laguna Hills join in this critical and responsible endeavor. Harvard University has successfully used organic landscaping on its landscapes and hardscapes since 2009. If all of these entities and more have made these changes, we can certainly make these changes here in Laguna Hills. Let's be at the forefront of this nationwide movement and attract more people, families and businesses to our city.
Are there any other reasons to switch to an organically driven IPM?
Using toxic pesticides is a liability issue and moving to organic landscape management will protect the city from that liability as it shows we are doing everything we can to keep our community free of toxic pesticides and make resident health a priority.
SIGN THIS PETITION to demonstrate to Laguna Hills city officials that you want to stop the use of toxic pesticides in our community green spaces and hardscapes, and implement safe, cost effective and organic practices.
Non Toxic Laguna Hills (NTLH) - http://nontoxiclagunahills.org/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pg/nontoxiclh
Twitter - https://twitter.com/nontoxicLH
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Non Toxic Neighborhood (NTN) advisors are advising and in support of our efforts:
Bruce Blumberg, Professor of Developmental and Cell Biology in UCI’s School of Biological Sciences and Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering.
“The major challenge with showing that a chemical causes cancer in humans [as opposed to animals] is that the cancer typically develops many years after exposure.” - Bruce Blumberg
Bruce Lanphear, MD, MPH, Epidemiologist, Professor Simon Fraser University and Director of Children’s Health and Environmental
"Toxins can have a life-long impact on children. We’ve also discovered that even extremely low levels of toxins can impact brain development. By allowing children to be exposed to toxins or chemicals of unknown toxicity, we are unwittingly using our children in a massive experiment." - Bruce Lanphear
Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc, FAAP, Dean for Global Health. Professor of Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics Arnhold Institute for Global Health Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
“Pregnant women, infants and young children are especially vulnerable to toxic chemicals in their environments. Even extremely low-dose exposures during these vulnerable periods in early life can result in lasting damage. This is why it is so important to protect the most sensitive among us. By protecting them, we preserve the health of all.” - Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc, FAAP
Dean Baker, MD, MPH Director, Center for Occupational and Environmental Health Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Epidemiology University of California, Irvine Dean Baker shares in this 3 min video the negative health effects of toxic pesticides.
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