Pesticide use at school
I read with interest the letter from Lorne Hepworth of CropLife Canada, Townsman, Oct. 13 2010 regarding pesticide use. His letter was in response to an article (SD5 to examine cosmetic pesticide use, Townsman, Sept. 28). The subject is School District 5’s use of pesticides and their policy in regards to children’s health. Mr. Hepworth has a very vested interest in writing to the editor because he is the President of CropLife Canada which is the trade association that represents the manufacturers, distributors and developers of pesticide products. Of course he is pro-pesticide as that is how he makes his living; I am a mother wanting to make sure that my children are going to be safe when they go to school.
To educate myself on the issue that involves my children and the use of pesticides, I researched quite a few items that Mr. Hepworth brought up in his letter including harmful weeds, pesticide use on school grounds, allergies, cost-effective solutions and risk assessments reviewed by credible studies and Health Canada. It’s all available on the internet by the millions.
Some of the key points I found in my own informal internet study is that 98 per cent of sprayed insecticides and 95 per cent of herbicides reach a destination other than the target.
There are items about contaminants, eroding soil, killing bees, animal poisoning and the list goes on and on. Then there are the 2.6 million articles on Pesticide use and Cancer.
I think I could spend the rest of my life researching this issue but I have reached my conclusion. When I was looking for good reasons to use pesticides I asked Google “Why should I use pesticides?”. The first page of the 7.1 million reasons was about why I shouldn’t.
School District 5 can and should change their policy because boiling water, vinegar, salt and corn meal can kill weeds without all the debate and so far those items haven’t been known to cause cancer like pesticides can.
Lanna van der Velden