Submitted by Lesley Ewing

Oak Bay Council is urged to consider the health of our community, particularly our children and grandchildren, and proceed immediately to enact a pesticide bylaw as recommended by parks and recreation staff.

2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) is one of the most common and most toxic herbicides used on US and Canadian lawns and gardens.  2,4-D has a notorious past. It was one of the two chemicals in the defoliant Agent Orange

A 2008 poll conducted for the Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon Division showed that the majority of British Columbians support the restriction of pesticide use.

The Canadian Cancer Agency points out that children are at a greater risk from pesticide exposure than adults because they are closer to the ground and their bodies are still developing.

Among the findings of the Pesticides Literature Review [i] conducted by the Ontario College of Family Physicians:

  • Several studies found associations between pesticide exposures and solid tumours in children
  • Four studies found associations with brain cancer
  • Several studies in the review implicate pesticides as a cause of hematologic tumours in children
  • One study found an association with childhood non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (5), and several studies found elevated childhood leukemia rates with pesticide exposure
  • The following organizations are among the many that support the banning of 2,4-D and reduction of pesticide use:

    Canadian Cancer Society
    Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
    Canadian Medical Association
    Canadian Public Health Association
    The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada
    The Lung Association of British Columbia
    UBC Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics
    Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
    Delegates to the 2008 Union of BC Municipalities
    Ontario College of Family Physicians
    Ontario Public Health Association
    The Learning Disabilities Association of British Columbia
    International Agency for Research on Cancer
    Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario
    Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
    Humane Society of Canada
    David Suzuki Foundation
    School District #61

    [i]Pesticides Literature Review – Systemic Review of Pesticide Human Health Effects, April 23, 2004, pg. 168.