Health & Safety Risks
Product labels provide some information on these risks, which range from minor skin or eye irritation, to poisoning and death, depending on the product and type of exposure. Some pesticides can produce noxious and/or explosive gases if combined with other materials or mixed or applied using the wrong type of container.
Some pesticides can pollute the soil or groundwater and can persist for long periods of time. If pesticides are unintentionally washed into stormwater collection systems, creeks, streams or other water bodies may become polluted.
Risks To Non-target Species
Some pesticides can cause accidental injury or death to aquatic organisms, birds, mammals and beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies. Microorganisms in your lawn and garden can also be harmed, reducing their ability to enrich the soil and provide nutrients for plants. The more toxic and the more you use, the greater the risk.
A Growing Concern
Many communities across Canada are exploring ways to reduce pesticide use through alternative methods. A large number of municipalities have bylaws limiting the application of pesticides for certain uses. Collectively, these initiatives reflect a movement toward a safer and more environmentally sensitive approach to pest management. The Capital Region, with its reputation for healthy living and a pristine environment, is aptly suited to be part of this growing trend.