Ban cosmetic pesticides

Editor, The Record:This week marks one year since the B.C. government called upon the public to provide input into restricting chemical cosmetic pesticides. Over 8,000 e-mails, online comments, and petition signatures were submitted as a result of the consultation and the vast majority of responses were in favour of banning the use and sale of cosmetic pesticides.To mark this anniversary, the Canadian Cancer Society BC and Yukon created a special weblink at www.cancergameplan.ca where members of the public can provide their input by e-mail, by contacting the BC Liberal and NDP leadership candidates, or by joining the Pesticide Free BC Facebook group.Cosmetic, or non-essential, pesticides are used to improve the appearance of lawns, gardens, and various recreational facilities such as parks. Research has linked pesticide exposure with an increased risk of both childhood and adult cancers. These include childhood and adult leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, prostate, brain and lung cancers. Studies show children may be at a higher risk due to their rapidly developing bodies.According to a recent poll commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Society, the majority of British Columbians support a phase-out of cosmetic pesticides on private and public properties (over 70 per cent). The poll also revealed that support for a phase-out between Liberal and NDP voters is about equal, that there is no difference in support between rural or urban residents, and that most B.C. residents are willing to try alternatives.The government needs to hear from all British Columbians that now is the time to put our health and the environment first and eliminate this unnecessary risk once and for all by passing strong, comprehensive legislation as soon as possible.Mandip Kharod-Clark
Health promotion coordinator
Canadian Cancer SocietyFraser Valley East