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TRANSCRIBED FROM VILLE DE L'ILE-BIZARD PRESS RELEASE
VILLE DE L'ILE-BIZARD
350, rue de l'Église
tel: (514) 620-6331
A QUESTION OF HEALTH - PESTICIDES FREE ON L'ILE-BIZARD
Now that winter has arrived, our thoughts have turned from cutting grass to shovelling snow. But before we leave lawn-care behind, I would like to take this opportunity to discuss some important environmental issues regarding our town, specifically the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes and the steps we will be taking together to ensure that l'Ile-Bizard becomes a ``clean and green `` community.
PESTICIDES POSE A HEALTH RISK
I am sure you are well aware of all the recent publicity regarding the potential health hazards associated with pesticide use. Toxicity ranging from poisoning to more chronic effects such as increased incidence of cancer, birth defects, disruption of reproductive, endocrine, and immune systems has all been attributed to the increased use of pesticides. While supporters of pesticide use state that controlled, discriminate application poses no hazard, there is little evidence to suggest that any chemical pesticide is ``safe``. Understandably, makers and distributors of pesticides are trying to protect their business, but are you willing to risk the health of your family for a perfect looking lawn ?
WHAT IS A PESTICIDE ?
A pesticide includes any chemical substance used to kill an undesirable organism, including weeds (herbicides), insects (insecticides), fungus (fungicides) and rodents (rodenticides). A pesticide is made up of two components: an active ingredient that does the actual ``killing`` and an inert part that acts as a solvent or vehicle for the active component. ``Inert`` does'nt necessarily mean non-toxic or without effect. In fact, these ingredients may even be more toxic than the active ingredients.
HOW ARE PESTICIDES APPLIED TO A LAWN ?
Pesticides are either sprayed in liquid or granular form, commonly in conjuction with a fertilizer. Applied pesticides can be absorbed through the skin, swallowed or inhaled; they can settle on outdoor play sets, toys, pools and pets and can be tracked indoors.
BEWARE THE WORD ``SAFE``
No one can assure your safety when using pesticides. Most pesticides have some health risk associated with them. ``Safe`` has become a catchall phrase meant to placate the consumer.
L'ILE-BIZARD HAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST CANCER RATES IN CHILDREN
I too have heard this statement regarding our community. Indeed many children from l'Ile-Bizard have been victims of cancer; some are heroic survivors and regrettably, some are not statistically, however, the population of l'Ile-Bizard is too small to draw such conclusions, but the issue does warrant attention. I believe that l'Ile-Bizard is an ideal place to raise a family and I will work to ensure that it will be even better.
CONTROLLING PESTS AND DISEASES...THE ECOLOGICAL WAY
There are many alternatives to chemical pesticide application that are effective in maintaining a healthy, balanced lawn with none of the associated dangers of traditional pesticide use. Whether you undertake the maintenance of your yard yourself or hire a service, beautiful pest-free grass is easily achieved. Extensive resources are available by calling the Ville de l'Ile-Bizard.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS WE ARE TAKING ?
Many of you may have already noticed restrictions on pesticide use this past summer: application was only allowed before June 1st and after September 15th. Next we are attempting to educate and inform the citizens of l'Ile-Bizard through billboards, bulletins and a new town website on the dangers of pesticide use and on the ecological alternatives. Our new by-law adopted last February 6th, completely forbid pesticides on our territory, allowing for exceptions. Be careful, the companies who solicit you must apply only natural products and obtain a permit from the City. Following in the footsteps of such beautiful Montreal neighbourhoods as Westmount, we are certain that we can respect both the desire to have an attractive property as well as a healthy environment.
Normand Marinacci, LL.L.
TEL: (514) 696-5974
FEBRUARY 7th 2001,
Seven years ago at the age of ten I suffered cancer, a non-hodgkin lymphoma. During my stay in the cancer ward at St.Justine's hospital I discovered that I was not the only one in Ile-Bizard suffering from cancer.
After researching to find the possible environmental link between chemical pesticides and children cancer I discover that l'Ile-Bizard children were at a higher risk of getting cancer. The need for restrictions on chemical pesticides became very clear to me.
That's why in 1994 during my chemotherapy treatment I visited l'Ile-Bizard Mayor and councillors to ask them to ban chemical pesticides in our community.
Finally February 6th 2001, the elected voted for a complete pesticides ban in l'Ile-Bizard.
L'Ile-Bizard children now have hope and now can play in playgrounds, public parks and their own backyard safely !