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UR OPINION

"MB Lawn Pesticide Ban would Prevent Cancer"


ByGideonForman
Wednesday,April9,20143:06:47CDTPM

LawnPesticideBanMeansCancerPrevention
byGideonForman

CancerCarehasjustlaunchedanexcellentcampaigntohelpManitobansreducetheircancerrisks.Thegroups
recommendationswhichincludeavoidingtobacco,eatingplentyoffruitsandvegetables,anddoingregularexercisewill
goalongwaytowardpreventionofthisawfuldisease.

ButtheresanothersimplemeasureManitobanscantaketoreducetheirriskofcancer:urgetheprovincetobanlawnand
gardenpesticidesthisspring.

Studyafterstudysuggeststhatpeopleexposedtopesticidesincludingweedkillersandinsecticidesusedoutsidethehome
aremorelikelytogetcancer.

Thescienceisgrim.Forexample,researchdonebytheOntarioCollegeofFamilyPhysiciansfoundthatpesticideexposure
islinkedtocancersoftheprostate,kidney,andpancreas.

AstudypublishedinthejournaloftheCanadianPediatricSocietyfoundthatthecommonlawnpesticide2,4Dcanbe
persuasivelylinkedtocancers.

ResearchpublishedbydoctorsinthescientificjournalCanadianFamilyPhysicianlookedatpesticidestudiesfromaround
theworld.Amongtheirconclusions:All11studiesfromtheUnitedStates,Canada,andEuropeexaminingtheassociation
betweenpesticideexposureandbraincancershowedincreasedrisk.Thedoctorswereespeciallyconcernedaboutchildren:
Increasedratesofalltypesofleukemia[abloodcancer]werefoundinchildrenwhoseparentsusedinsecticidesinthe
gardenandonindoorplantsandwhosemothershadbeenexposedwhilepregnant.

ButthegoodnewsisManitobanscankeeptheirpropertiesbeautifulwithouttheuseofcancercausingchemicals.Pesticide
banshavebeenintroducedinOntario,QuebecandtheMaritimesandintheseprovinceshomeownersaremaintaining
theirlawnsandgardensusingnontoxicmethods.

Forexample,inearlyspringtheyapplyanaturalcornglutenproductthatpreventsdandelionsandcrabgrassfrom
germinatinginthefirstplace.Next,theyoverseed,aerate,andkeeptheirgrassniceandlong(7.5cm)toensureathick
lawnthatwontletweedsgetafoothold.Andiftheoddweeddoesemerge,theyremoveitbyhandorspotspraywith
vinegar.

Iftheydiscovergrubs,theycontrolthemwithnematodesmicroscopicwormsthatkillgrubswithin72hoursbutleave
plants,animalsandpeoplecompletelyunharmed.

DatafromCancerCaresaythat,overthenext20years,thenumberofManitobacancercaseswillriseby50%.Iftheperson
whogetsillisyoursonordaughterthatsnotastatistic,itsatragedy.Butthisawfulpathisnotinevitableifourleaders
takeprudentactionwhiletheresstilltime.

TheManitobagovernmenthaspledgedtointroducealawnpesticidebaninthenearfuture.Theyaretobecommendedfor
this.ButManitobansshouldurgetheirMLAstoexpandthebansoitincludesnotonlylawnsbutalsogardensandgolf
coursestwootherplaceswheretoxicpesticidescanmakeussick.

Lifestylechangessuchastobaccocessationandincreasedexercisearevitalbutifwereallywanttotacklecancerwealso
needtoaddressthediseasesenvironmentalcauses.Aprovincewideprohibitiononnonessentialpesticideswouldbea
majorcontributiontocancerprevention.

GideonFormanisExecutiveDirectoroftheCanadianAssociationofPhysiciansfortheEnvironment.

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