EDMONTON – With Edmonton still blanketed with mounds of snow, dandelion season may be last thing on people's minds. But a recent report is casting the city's plans for weed control into the spotlight.
The report states that while pesticide restrictions are feasible, banning the chemicals would be difficult to enforce and could lead to a decline in green infrastructure. And when it comes to cost, the city estimates a complete ban would nearly double its weed control budget, from $7.2 million dollars to $14.1 million dollars.
However, some experts argue that the decision to not ban pesticides could end up costing much more in the long run, with humans and the environment paying the ultimate price.
"You need to look at some of the other costs as well," said Locky. "These pesticides and herbicides eventually end up in the water table and our lakes rivers and wetlands.
While the report claims that pesticides have not demonstrated a measurable contribution to human or environmental health, experts vehemently disagree.
"I know there's an overwhelming body of evidence that there are serious health concerns with pesticides," said Dr. Raquel Feroe, an Internal Medicine physician. "There's been a lot of epidemiology studies showing that there's increase associated with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, lymphoma brain cancer, prostate cancer, kidney cancer, childhood leukemias."
Feroe further criticizes the report, saying it didn't come from health professionals or environmentalists. Both she and Locky believe in healthier alternatives to pesticides – like mowing more and using more fertilizer – and would like to see a ban on non-essential use in Edmonton soon.
"I think a ban could do more for public health than I could ever do as a physician treating patients one by one," said Feroe. "I think Council will show the will and hopefully protect the City."
The City's Transportation and Public Works Committee is scheduled to discuss the report on Wednesday.
With files from Linda Nguyen.
Why I became an Eco-Leader
By Dr. Raquel Feroe FRCPC
I became an eco-leader because I like to be strategic with my charitable dollars. CAPE has credibility, capacity, and their very existence helps people to link environmental health to personal health. I could have become an Eco-Leader solely based on CAPE's award-winning work on pesticide policy but there is more that attracts me to CAPE. Supporting CAPE is a way for me to practice preventative medicine that has the potential to reach the masses and raise hope for our planet. CAPE's mandate is to promote environmental sustainability and ecosystem health. For those of you, like me, who see patients with chronic illness, the opportunity to be part of an organization that offers such a refreshing and proactive approach to healthcare is very appealing.
I would love to network with other CAPE physicians and particularly those in Edmonton where I live. I hope all doctors reading this article decide to join CAPE’s Eco-Leaders and I look forward to networking and sharing our environmental interests.
Dr. Feroe is very knowledgeable and understanding when it comes to treatment options that your family can't. However, Dr. Feroe put me on Methadone. Everything was good until I wanted to stop taking it as it didn't work. That's when the trouble started. I was so sick from the withdrawal that I coudn't even get out of bed. Imagine the worst flu you have ever had and multiply it by ten. Even knowing this Dr. Feroe did not want to see me without a referral. I honestly thought I was dying and she didn't care. She was never there with the withdrawal and I ended up turning to AADAC for help. I would strongly recommend researching the drugs she puts you on first. Also, she takes the entire summer off every year and there's nobody to help you while she's away.. She can suggest several different