Alderman wants cosmetic use phased out

Ward 11 Alderman Brian Pincott is expecting a fight today in council when he seeks to curb the use of cosmetic pesticides in Calgary over the next two years.

"The discussion around this will be robust," Pincott said. "Obviously, the chemical industry has been quite vocal against this move by municipalities and it’s certainly been a contentious issue here in the past.


"Is it going to be unanimous? I highly doubt it, but this is about protecting people from these chemicals, protecting our children, our pets and the health of Calgarians and not about having the easiest, prettiest lawn possible."

Cosmetic pesticides are those applied to homes and businesses for purely "cosmetic" purposes, such as greening lawns, killing weeds and improving overall aesthetics,

More than 100 municipalities across the country and the entire province of Quebec have already banned the use of pesticides on private and public land and it’s about time Calgary caught up to the curve, Pincott said, noting decades of research that points to increased levels of cancer and endocrin destruction from pesticide exposure.

"It hasn’t been a major concern in the past, people simply are not aware of the impacts of these chemicals. You can buy them readily on store shelves so people tend to assume they are safe," Pincott said. "We shouldn’t be using these pesticides and it’s up to the city to protect its citizens."


  • Pincott’s plan is to phase out the use of pesticides on city property by December 2009 and on all private land in the city by 2010.

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