A Coquitlam environment advisory group studying whether the city should ban the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides was to hear today (Wednesday) from a representative of the Canadian Cancer Society.
The society's health promotion volunteer, Brittney Parks, has been lobbying several city councils around B.C. - including, most recently, the city of Terrace - about the risks associated with chemical pesticides and to encourage councils to put a stop to their use.
"We advocate for pesticide legislation both at the municipal and provincial level," Parks told The Tri-City News yesterday. "I've been working with the city of Coquitlam towards having a municipal bylaw banning the use of cosmetic pesticides... We want to share some scientific studies with the sustainability and environmental advisory committee as well as some best practices for the implementation of a cosmetic pesticide bylaw."
According to the society, there is a growing body of evidence linking pesticide exposure to many negative health and environment impacts, including cancer. Children are especially susceptible because of their undeveloped immune systems, more permeable skin and activities like crawling on the grass and putting objects in their mouths, the society's website states (advocate.ccsbcy.ca).
Besides Parks' delegation, the advisory committee is also scheduled to hear a presentation from Coquitlam's manager of environmental services and environmental stewardship co-ordinator as well as receive a 400-name petition organized by the Coquitlam Pesticide Awareness Coalition. In addition, 31 letters will also be reviewed after committee chair Coun. Linda Reimer asked for public submissions earlier this month.
Reimer told The Tri-City News yesterday the agenda for the May 18 meeting is so large "we had to courier the packages to the committee members' homes.... There's an awful lot of information," she said, adding, "We are moving along in the process and we expect a decision soon."
City council referred the topic to the newly formed environment and sustainability advisory committee in March after Coun. Selina Robinson moved a motion for the city to adopt a cosmetic pesticide ban. Robinson said she hopes the committee will make a recommendation to council before the summer break.