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Returning to an old story—just how safe are chemical weed killers for lawns
by Art Drysdale
by Art Drysdale

email: art@artdrysdale.com

Art Drysdale, a life-long resident of Toronto and a horticulturist well known all across Canada, is now a resident of Parksville, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, just north of Nanaimo. He has reno-vated an old home and has a new garden there. His radio gardening vignettes are heard in south-western Ontario over radio station Easy 101 FM out of Tillsonburg at 2 PM weekdays.

Art also has his own website at http://www.artdrysdale.com


September 2, 2018



Above, A home lawn totally infested with dandelions; and a single dandelion plant in flower. Below, an infestation of dandelions all having gone to seed ready to be blown by a wind; and dandelions and other weeds killed at a property line with use of Monsanto Roundup.
Author photos.





 


 



 

Recently again, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) has been sending letters to various provincial governments and their officials decrying the possible easing of rules that have been brought in to regulate or eliminate the use of such chemicals as 2,4-D to control lawn weeds in residential settings.

As usual my good friend William Gathercole has put up a new summary of current terrorist activities on his Website: Pesticide Truths. Here are a few excerpts.

“Pest control products are scientifically-safe, and will not cause harm to children. Allegations about the imaginary danger to children are totally false, and are untrue misrepresentations designed to alarm and enrage the public for mere money and profit given to anti-pesticide & environmental-terrorist organizations.

“The risk assessment of conventional pest control products indicates that they are scientifically-safe, and, when used properly, will not cause harm to children, people, animals, or the environment ?there are no harmful irreversible effects to health and environment.

“CAPE-fanatics like John Howard, Paul Doucet, and Randall McQuaker, are deceiving the public.

“Children cannot possibly be harmed by properly applied pest control products.

“Additionally, there is not one known case of harm from the proper application of diluted pest control products by qualified and licensed professionals. This is because diluted products are tens of thousands of times less toxic than concentrated products.

“For decades, the professional lawn care industry has advocated that using its services is significantly less harmful for children than do-it-yourself lawn care. Overall, pest control products used in the urban landscape are only harmful when the concentrated form is improperly stored in the home.

“It must be recognized that when home-owners retain the services of qualified and licensed professionals, who apply only diluted products, the risk of harming children is greatly reduced. Conversely, do-it-yourself homeowners who apply these products must store them in the home in a concentrated form.

“When these products are stored improperly in the home, children may be harmed.

“Scientifically-ignorant CAPE-fanatics, like John Howard, Paul Doucet, and Randall McQuaker, are wrong! Should the public trust CAPE? Or, should the public trust the qualified and licensed lawn care professionals?

“National regulatory agencies, like Health Canada and the US EPA, and not CAPE, have the essential expertise and credibility on pest control products. They have concluded that pest control products cause no harm and are no threat to children.

“Children across North America, even in those jurisdictions with no pesticide bans, are all protected since these products are applied at very low doses and represent no threat to children.

“The safety assessments of pest control products by Heath Canada and the United States Environmental Protection Agency do take into consideration children’s physiology, behaviours, and habits while playing on treated grass. In fact, there are no valid reports of pest control product problems with children. Extra safety factors are applied by Health Canada to protect children, as well as infants and pregnant women. In fact, medication is the leading cause of poisoning in children.

“The risk assessment of conventional pest control products indicates that they are scientifically-safe, and, when used properly, will not cause harm to children, people, animals, or the environment there are no harmful irreversible effects to health and environment.

“CAPE-fanatics, like John Howard, Paul Doucet, and Randall McQuaker, are ignoring the real science, and are deceiving the public by exploiting children as weapons of coercion and environmental terror!

“CAPE Ignores real Science that proves children are not at risk from pest control products because of the establishment of re-entry intervals?re-entry intervals are designed to ensure that any remaining pest control product residue on a treated surface does not pose an unacceptable risk to human health.

“All pest control products that have been assessed and registered for use in the urban landscape require the following re-entry interval?<Keep people off treated area until foliage is dry.>

“A re-entry interval is defined as the period of time from the application of a pest control product to when entry into a treated area is permitted. A re-entry interval reflects the amount of time required for a pest control product to dissipate (either from uptake into the plant, or degraded by natural processes) to a level that is well below any point of concern.

“A re-entry interval is established using a science-based approach to predict the amount of a pest control product that may be deposited onto the skin from contact with any treated surface. Nonetheless, these products can be used safely because the amount required to affect human health is significantly higher than any potential level of exposure.

“The impact of pest control products on human health is extensively assessed by Health Cana-da, prior to their registration, to ensure that these compounds, like other chemicals, such as prescription drugs and vitamins, are safe when directions for use are properly followed. A part of this assessment includes specifying the measures required to reduce exposure during product handling and application, as well as for all activities on treated surfaces.

“For the registration of every pest control product, manufacturers spend 250 million dollars in order to satisfy federal scientific assessments. Moreover, two-hundred separate assessments are performed by 350 professional experts at Health Canada to ensure that these products are federally legal, scientifically safe, and will cause no harm.

“As a result, there is not one known incident of harm from the proper use of conventional pest control products used in the urban landscape.

“Should the public trust CAPE?

“Or, should the public trust the establishment of re-entry intervals?

“CAPE’s lunatic rant about the danger of cancer is a form of Coercion, Intimidation, and Ter-rorism.

“The public need not be alarmed. There are no pest control products that are known or probable carcinogens.

“Pest control products do not cause cancer since they have been scientifically evaluated for their carcinogenic potential.

“CAPE is ridiculously implying that its non-expert assessment is somehow being withheld from Health Canada and every other regulatory agency in the world.

“If CAPE-fanatics, like John Howard, Paul Doucet, and Randall McQuaker, were not so scien-tifically illiterate, they would know that scientific research proves that, as reported through Health Canada’s vast toxicology database, no harm will occur when pest control products are applied properly in the urban landscape.

“Scientific research proves that pest control products cause no harm and do not cause cancer. Pest control products causing cancer is a myth.

“The United States Environmental Protection Agency conducted a review of the scientific literature and concluded that there was no evidence of a link between cancer and pest control products like 2,4-D.

“And, also recently, Health Canada stated that 2,4-D does not cause cancer, indicating that the toxicological database does not suggest a carcinogenic risk.

“According to Dr. Leonard Ritter, the nation’s leading expert in the field of toxicology and pesticide safety:

“Pesticides do not cause cancer, and there is no increase in cancer deaths in Canada when you consider that the population is aging and increasing.

“According to Dr. Keith R Solomon, (an old acquaintance of Art’s) the nation’s leading expert in the field of environmental biology, toxicology, and pesticide safety:

“There is no evidence of any causal link between pesticide use and cancer.

“Even the Canadian Cancer Society’s own websites state repeatedly that scientific research does not provide a conclusive link between pest control products and cancer. Pest control products causing cancer is a myth.

“CAPE-fanatics, like John Howard, Paul Doucet, and Randall McQuaker, are ignoring the real science, and are deceiving the public about cancer.”

   

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