1.                  City of Ottawa Pesticide Reduction Strategy For Private Property

 

Stratégie de réduction des pesticides de la ville d’Ottawa propriétés privées

 

 

 

Committee Recommendations as amended

 

1.      That Council adopt the following approach for long-term reduction of the cosmetic use of pesticides on private property:

 

a.            Whereas staff have presented a report recommending an education approach to the reduction of cosmetic pesticide use on exterior private property in Ottawa;

 

And whereas the staff report has also recommended that if established pesticide reduction targets have not been met by the end of 2005, a by-law will be a key component of any further reduction program;

 

And whereas the public has clearly indicated its support for such a by-law;

 

Therefore be it resolved that, if the following targets for reduction in cosmetic pesticide use have not been met by the end of September 2005:

·        70% reduction on residential properties;

·        100% reduction on all school, daycare, homes for the aged and hospital properties; and

·        65% reduction on all remaining non-residential uses,

 

That staff be directed to prepare a by-law to be adopted by the end of 2005; and that such a by-law would incorporate the following principles:

 

Applicable to all private, industrial, commercial and institutional property within the boundaries of the City of Ottawa;

 

Exemptions

i.    Agriculture and forestry

ii.   Public and private swimming pools

iii   Purifying of water for human and animal consumption

iv.  Lowest toxicity pesticides for protection of public health and safety

v.   Infestations where a temporary pesticide application permit has been issues by the City

vi.    Indoor use


 

A pesticide reduction requirement for golf courses and bowling greens;

Contains a list of substances deemed to be permitted pesticides;

 

Signage and notification guidelines.

 

b.      Establish dedicated contracted resources, with expertise in both community development and horticulture, to coordinate and provide advice on the pesticide use reduction initiatives.

 

c.       Strategically enhance the 2002 education campaign, building upon the information, advertising and demonstration methods used to increase awareness of the potential risks associated with pesticide use and available alternative methods.

 

d.      Work with an educational institution to develop and deliver a training program on alternative pest control methods for retail staff in gardening centers across the City.

 

e.      Engage community groups and experts to assist in educating property owners on alternatives to pesticides through workshops, seminars or neighbourhood demonstration sites.

 

f.        Work closely with large property owners across the City, such as Public Works and Government Services Canada, the National Capital Commission, the Building Owners & Managers Association, to achieve reduced cosmetic pesticide use on other public properties and private commercial, industrial and residential properties;

 

g.      Work closely with Landscape Ontario and the National Golf Club Owners Association to achieve significant pesticide use reductions in the practices of lawn care companies and golf courses.

h.      Explore mechanisms to work with neighbourhood groups and community associations to mediate disputes that may arise between residents who have environmental sensitivities and those who have or intend to spray pesticides.

i.        Develop sites that demonstrate the use of alternatives on City lands at various locations across the City.


 

2.         That City staff report back to Council on legislative mechanisms, including the use of municipal licensing power, to require that the sale and application of pesticides be accompanied by stickers or flyers that advise that the product is a pesticide and that the City of Ottawa encourages the use of safer alternatives to pesticides, and that;

 

In the interim the City approach retailers to secure cooperation in developing and implementing a point of sale notification model, as above, and;

 

That failing volunteer compliance, Council proceed to implement a mandatory program consistent with its authority.

 

 

recommandations modifiéeS du Comité

 

1.      Que le Conseil adopte la démarche suivante en vue de la réduction à long terme de l’utilisation des pesticides sur les propriétés privées à des fins esthétiques :

 

a.      Attendu que le personnel a présenté un rapport recommandant des moyens de sensibilisation à la réduction de l’usage des pesticides à des fins esthétiques sur la propriété privée extérieure à Ottawa;

 

Attendu que le rapport recommande également que, si les objectifs de réduction des pesticides établis ne sont pas atteints d’ici la fin de 2005, l’adoption d’un règlement figurera parmi les éléments clés de tout autre programme de réduction des pesticides;

 

Attendu que le public a indiqué clairement qu’il était en faveur d’un tel règlement; 

 

En conséquence, il est résolu que, si les objectifs suivants de réduction de l’usage des pesticides à des fins esthétiques n’ont pas été atteints d’ici la fin de septembre 2005, il y aura :

·        réduction de 70 % des pesticides sur les propriétés résidentielles;

·        réduction de 100 % des pesticides sur les propriétés des écoles, garderies, foyers pour personnes âgées et hôpitaux;

·        réduction de 65 % des pesticides sur toutes les autres utilisations non résidentielles,

 

Que le personnel soit enjoint de rédiger un règlement municipal qui sera adopté d’ici la fin de 2005; et que ce règlement englobe les principes suivants:

 

Il vise toutes les  propriétés privées, industrielles, commerciales et institutionnelles situées dans la ville d’Ottawa;

 

Font exception :

i.          Agriculture et foresterie

ii.         Piscines publiques et privées

iii         Purification de l’eau aux fins de consommation humaine et animale

iv.        Pesticides à faible toxicité aux fins de protection de la santé et de la sécurité du public

v.         Infestations si un permis d’épandage temporaire a été délivré par la Ville

vi.                Usage intérieur

 

Exigence relative à la réduction des pesticides sur les terrains de golf et de jeux de boules;

 

Contient une liste de substances réputées être des pesticides homologués;

Lignes directrices en matière d’affichage et de notification.

 

b.   établir des personnes ressources dévouées du secteur privé spécialisées à la fois dans le developpement communautaire et l’horticulture afin de coordonner les projets de réduction de l’utilisation des pesticides et d’offrir des conseils à cet égard;

c.   renforcer la campagne d’éducation de 2002 sur le plan stratégique en tirant profit des méthodes d’information, de publicité et de démonstration utilisées afin de sensibiliser le public aux risques liés à l’utilisation des pesticides et aux méthodes de remplacement disponibles;

d.   travailler en collaboration avec un établissement d’enseignement afin d’élaborer et d’offrir un programme de formation sur d’autres méthodes de lutte contre les ravageurs à l’intention du personnel de détail des centres de jardinage de la ville;

e.   engager des spécialistes et des groupes communautaires afin de renseigner les propriétaires fonciers sur les solutions de rechange aux pesticides grâce à des ateliers et à des colloques ou dans le cadre de démonstrations au sein des quartiers;

f.    travailler en étroite collaboration avec les grands propriétaires, tels que Travaux publics et Services gouvernementaux Canada, la Commission de la capitale nationale, la Building Owners & Managers Association, afin de réduire l’utilisation des pesticides à des fins esthétiques sur d’autres propriétés publiques et des propriétés commerciales, industrielles et résidentielles privées;

g.   travailler en étroite collaboration avec la Landscape Ontario et la National Golf Club Owners Association afin de réduire de façon substantielle la quantité de pesticides utilisés par les entreprises chargées de l’entretien des gazons et des terrains de golf;


 

h.   étudier des mécanismes en vue de collaborer avec des groupes de quartier et des associations communautaires afin de régler, par la médiation, les conflits éventuels entre les résidents qui ont des sensibilités à des facteurs environnementaux et ceux qui utilisent ou prévoient utiliser des pesticides.

i.    aménager des terrains démontrant l’utilisation de méthodes de rechange sur les terrains municipaux à divers endroits de la ville.

 

2.         Que le personnel municipal fasse rapport au Conseil au sujet des mécanismes législatifs, notamment la délivrance de permis municipal, afin d’exiger que la vente et l’épandage de pesticides s’accompagnent d’autocollants ou de dépliants qui indiquent que le produit est un pesticide et que la Ville d’Ottawa encourage l’utilisation de solutions de rechange plus sûres aux pesticides;

 

Dans l’intervalle, que la Ville approche les détaillants afin d’obtenir d’eux qu’ils collaborent dans l’élaboration et la mise en œuvre d’un modèle de notification des points de vente, tel qu’indiqué ci-avant;

 

À défaut d’obtenir la collaboration volontaire, que le Conseil mette en œuvre un programme obligatoire, conformément au pouvoir qui lui est conféré.

 

 

Documentation

 

1.                  General Manager, Development Services Department report dated 13 November 2002 is immediately attached (ACS2002-DEV-POL-0032)

 

2.                  Extract of Draft Minute, Health, Recreation and Social Services Committee meeting of 21 November 2002 immediately follows the report and includes a record of all the votes.

 

3.         City of Ottawa Pesticides Reduction Strategy for Private Property – List of written submissions presented on 21 November 2002 is at Appendix 1.

 

4.         City of Ottawa Pesticides Reduction Strategy for Private Property – List of correspondence received is at Appendix 2.


 

Report to/Rapport au:

Health, Recreation and Social Services Committee /

Comité de la Santé, des loisirs et des services sociaux

 

and Council/et au Conseil

 

13 November / le 13 novembre 2002

 

Submitted by/Soumis par: 

Ned Lathrop, General Manager/Directeur général

Development Services Department / Services d’aménagement

 

Jocelyne St Jean, General Manager/Directrice générale

People Services Department/Services aux citoyens

 

 

Contact/Personne-ressource:  Richard Kilstrom, Manager,
Community Design and Environment/

Gestionnaire, Conception communautaire et de l’environnement

580-2424 Ext 22653, Richard.Kilstrom@ottawa.ca

 

Ref N°:   ACS2002-DEV-POL-0032

 

 

SUBJECT:     CITY OF OTTAWA PESTICIDE REDUCTION STRATEGY FOR PRIVATE PROPERTY

 

OBJET:          STRATÉGIE DE RÉDUCTION DES PESTICIDES DE LA VILLE D’OTTAWA – PROPRIÉTÉS PRIVÉES

 

 

REPORT RECOMMENDATION(S)

 

That the Health, Recreation and Social Services Committee recommend that Council adopt the following approach for long-term reduction of the cosmetic use of pesticides on private property:

 

  1. The City will work closely with the community to obtain a significant voluntary reduction in cosmetic pesticide use on private property over the next three years.  To accomplish this objective, the City will deliver a community-based pesticide reduction program that will include the following elements:
    1. Establish a target for reduced cosmetic pesticide use by the end of 2005, both in terms of the number of pesticide users and the volumes applied; 
    2. Establish dedicated contracted resources, with expertise in both community development and horticulture, to coordinate and provide advice on the pesticide use reduction initiatives;

 

    1. Strategically enhance the 2002 education campaign, building upon the information, advertising and demonstration methods used to increase awareness of the potential risks associated with pesticide use and available alternative methods; 
    2. Work with an educational institution to develop and deliver a training program on alternative pest control methods for retail staff in gardening centers across the City;
    3. Engage community groups and experts to assist in educating property owners on alternatives to pesticides through workshops, seminars or neighbourhood demonstration sites;
    4. Work closely with large property owners across the City, such as Public Works and Government Services Canada, the National Capital Commission, the Building Owners & Managers Association, to achieve reduced cosmetic pesticide use on other public properties and private commercial, industrial and residential properties;
    5. Work closely with Landscape Ontario and the National Golf Club Owners Association to achieve significant pesticide use reductions in the practices of lawn care companies and golf courses.
    6. Explore mechanisms to work with neighbourhood groups and community associations to mediate disputes that may arise between residents who have environmental sensitivities and those who have or intend to spray pesticides. 
    7. Develop sites that demonstrate the use of alternatives on City lands at various locations across the City.

 

  1. Evaluate the effectiveness of the above methods and the extent of reduction achieved in cosmetic pesticide use and supply these results to Council in annual information reports.  At the end of 2005, the report to Council will document the evaluation results, including whether overall reduction targets have been met, and will recommend methods for continued reduction in cosmetic pesticide use.  Should the 2005 targets not be met, implementation of a by-law would be a key consideration for the City’s strategy to reduce cosmetic pesticide use in 2006.

 

RECOMMANDATION(S) DU RAPPORT

 

Que le Comité de la santé, des loisirs et des services sociaux recommande au Conseil d’adopter la démarche suivante en vue de la réduction à long terme de l’utilisation des pesticides sur les propriétés privées à des fins esthétiques :

 

1.   La Ville travaillera en étroite collaboration avec la communauté afin d’obtenir une réduction volontaire substantielle de l’utilisation des pesticides sur les propriétés privées au cours des trois prochaines années. Pour atteindre cet objectif, la Ville dispensera un programme communautaire de réduction des pesticides qui comprendra les éléments suivants :

a.   fixer un objectif de réduction de l’utilisation des pesticides à des fins esthétiques au plus tard en 2005, touchant à la fois le nombre d’utilisateurs de pesticides et la quantité de pesticides utilisés;


 

b.   établir des personnes ressources dévouées du secteur privé spécialisées à la fois dans le developpement communautaire et l’horticulture afin de coordonner les projets de réduction de l’utilisation des pesticides et d’offrir des conseils à cet égard;

c.   renforcer la campagne d’éducation de 2002 sur le plan stratégique en tirant profit des méthodes d’information, de publicité et de démonstration utilisées afin de sensibiliser le public aux risques liés à l’utilisation des pesticides et aux méthodes de remplacement disponibles;

d.   travailler en collaboration avec un établissement d’enseignement afin d’élaborer et d’offrir un programme de formation sur d’autres méthodes de lutte contre les ravageurs à l’intention du personnel de détail des centres de jardinage de la ville;

e.   engager des spécialistes et des groupes communautaires afin de renseigner les propriétaires fonciers sur les solutions de rechange aux pesticides grâce à des ateliers et à des colloques ou dans le cadre de démonstrations au sein des quartiers;

f.    travailler en étroite collaboration avec les grands propriétaires, tels que Travaux publics et Services gouvernementaux Canada, la Commission de la capitale nationale, la Building Owners & Managers Association, afin de réduire l’utilisation des pesticides à des fins esthétiques sur d’autres propriétés publiques et des propriétés commerciales, industrielles et résidentielles privées;

g.   travailler en étroite collaboration avec la Landscape Ontario et la National Golf Club Owners Association afin de réduire de façon substantielle la quantité de pesticides utilisés par les entreprises chargées de l’entretien des gazons et des terrains de golf;

h.      étudier des mécanismes en vue de collaborer avec des groupes de quartier et des associations communautaires afin de régler, par la médiation, les conflits éventuels entre les résidents qui ont des sensibilités à des facteurs environnementaux et ceux qui utilisent ou prévoient utiliser des pesticides.

i.        aménager des terrains démontrant l’utilisation de méthodes de rechange sur les terrains municipaux à divers endroits de la ville.

 

2.   Évaluer l’efficacité des méthodes précitées et l’étendue de la réduction obtenue dans l’utilisation des pesticides à des fins esthétiques et soumettre les résultats au Conseil municipal sous forme de rapports d’information annuels. À la fin de 2005, le rapport soumis au Conseil documentera les résultats des évaluations, indiquant notamment si les objectifs globaux de réduction des pesticides ont été atteints et recommandera des méthodes de réduction continue de l’utilisation des pesticides à des fins esthétiques.  Si les objectifs de 2005 ne sont pas atteints, un des éléments clés de la stratégie de la Ville en vue de réduire l’utilisation des pesticides à des fins esthétiques en 2006 pourrait être la mise en œuvre d’un règlement municipal.


 

SUMMARY

 

In summary, strong public opinion exists within the City to reduce cosmetic use on private property.  Given the current public willingness to participate in reducing pesticide use, it is recommended that the City take a proactive and collaborative approach in which staff work closely with various groups to promote the use of alternatives within communities and to significantly reduce the cosmetic use of pesticides.

 

Concerns, primarily associated with public health and the environment, led the City to conduct a number of activities through 2002 aimed at improving the public’s understanding of pesticides and at reducing the cosmetic use of pesticides on private property.  These activities included a literature review of health and environmental effects, conduct of a public education campaign, a review of approaches in other jurisdictions, research on public attitudes, practices and knowledge regarding pesticide use and consultation of the public on how the City should accomplish longer term reduction of cosmetic pesticide use on private property. 

 

This report will illustrate City staff’s work in the collection, analysis and evaluation of the information obtained.  The report will also present the preferred approach for longer-term reduction, one which provides the best balance of various perspectives and the broad public interest along with representing an approach that has strong potential for success and is cost-effective.

 

Key findings of the City’s research on pesticide use and from its work to raise public awareness in the area of cosmetic use of pesticides on private property include the following:


 

 

BACKGROUND

 

The City of Ottawa took the lead in reducing pesticide use within the community through a Council-approved interim pesticide use policy, adopted in May of 2001.  This policy eliminated the non-essential use of chemical pesticides on municipal property, such as parks, city-owned buildings’ grounds, and streetscapes. A finalized City of Ottawa Pesticide Use Policy will be submitted to Council in early 2003, once pesticide use and alternative practices proposed in the policy are adequately coordinated with the City operating departments that are establishing service levels and standards applicable to City grounds and sports fields.  Until then, staff would be guided by Council’s interim policy.

 

To address private property, Council approved a pesticide reduction strategy on March 27, 2002, which directed staff to initiate a program to include:

 

This report recommends a long-term strategy for reducing the non-essential use of chemical pesticides on private property. 

 

What are pesticides?

 

In the Ontario Pesticides Act, a pesticide is defined to mean:

any organism, substance or thing that is manufactured, represented, sold or used as a means of directly or indirectly controlling, preventing, destroying, mitigating, attracting or repelling any pest or of altering the growth, development or characteristics of any plant life that is not a pest and includes any organism, substance or thing registered under the Pest Control Products Act (Canada).


 

Generally, a pesticide is a substance that interferes with the normal biological processes of living organisms.  Pesticides can be classified according to their intended target pest.  They include insecticides to kill insects, herbicides for weeds, fungicides for plant diseases, fungi and moulds, and rodenticides to kill rats and mice.

 

The pesticides which the City of Ottawa, and other municipalities, wish to target for reduction are those manufactured chemical products that are applied to lawns and gardens to kill weeds, bugs, fungus and other unwanted living things.

 

Common Lawn and Garden Use Pesticides

 

Although there are several hundred pesticide active ingredients[1] and many thousands of pest control products registered for use in Canada, only a relatively small number of them are used with great frequency in lawn and green space management. Table 1 in Document 1 summarizes the major types and classes of pesticides that can be used for lawn and garden maintenance and their regulatory status in Canada.[2]  This list does not however, reflect the full range of lawn and garden pesticides available to the consumer.

 

The federal regulator, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), identifies the following active ingredients as those most commonly used within pesticide end-use products[3] on Canadian lawns: the insecticides diazinon, chlorpyrifos, carbaryl, and malathion and the herbicides 2,4-D, mecoprop, dicamba and MCPA.  These pesticides are available in various formulations including sprays, dusts, powers, granulars, concentrates and liquids.

 

In addition, the above active ingredients were registered before more stringent safety standards came into effect on December 31, 1994.  The PMRA currently has these under priority re-evaluation with results to be reported soon.  A voluntary phase-out for certain uses of some of the older pesticides on this list, such as chlorpyrifos and diazinon, has already been instituted.[4]

 

What does "cosmetic or non-essential use" of pesticides mean?

 

At the outset, it must be acknowledged that the determination of whether the use of a pesticide is “essential" or “non-essential” is a matter of subjective decision-making.[5]

Most commonly, the use of pesticides to keep lawns free of pests is often referred to as a cosmetic or non-essential use.


Other notable definitions of non-essential use of pesticides includes “their use in certain situations where the application is purely for an 'aesthetic pursuit'” [6] and “where pesticides are sprayed as part of a lawn care program when there are no pests or infestations apparent on the lawn”[7].

 

For the purpose of this strategy, the City of Ottawa defines cosmetic or non-essential use as one where a pesticide is used for aesthetic purposes in the care of a lawn or garden even though an alternative method or product to the pesticide is available and can provide an acceptable result.

 

Pesticide Law and Policy in Canada- the Regulatory Process

 

The federal government has jurisdiction over the approval of the import, export and manufacture of pesticides, the registration of use in Canada and labeling of products for distribution. The federal legislation that applies to pesticides is the Pest Control Products Act (PCP Act).  Regulations under this Act provide that any pest control product used or manufactured in Canada must be registered with the federal government.

 

The Provinces have the authority to approve or ban the use of pesticides within the province and regulate the conditions of use.  In Ontario, the Pesticides Act and its regulations govern the shipment, sale, application, storage and disposal of pesticides. The Act also regulates the permitting requirements, training, certification and licensing of commercial applicators and retailers of pesticides.

 

At the municipal level, high population concentrations in urban areas increase the possibility that one person’s use of their property might conflict with another person’s enjoyment of theirs. Municipalities have the responsibility to manage these potential conflicts arising from property use.  If necessary, the Ontario Municipal Act (Section 102) provides municipalities with the power to enact by-laws that regulate the health, safety, morality and welfare of its inhabitants.

 

Document 2 provides further information on the regulatory process for pesticide use in Canada.

 

DISCUSSION

 

This section outlines the results of the City’s research on emerging trends and information related to pesticide use and the analysis leading to the proposed long-term strategy for reducing cosmetic pesticide use on private property.

 

What are other jurisdictions doing regarding pesticides?

 

Federal Initiatives

 

Three developments during 2002 indicate that changes may evolve in the federal regulatory process.


 

On March 21, 2002 the federal Minister of Health introduced in the House of Commons Bill C53/C8 to enact a new Pest Control Products Act (PCPA). A summary of the proposed components of this Act is attached as Document 3.  The proposed act does not change the balance of federal, provincial/territorial, municipal powers or responsibilities in pest management regulation. The federal government through the Pest Management Regulatory Agency will continue to collaborate closely with the provinces/territories to support sustainable pest management and to minimize the risks associated with the use of pesticides.

 

In October 2002, the Office of the Auditor General of Canada expressed concern about the current state of affairs at the federal Pest Management Regulatory Agency. The report released by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development states,  “Although the federal government has made some progress in managing toxic substances since our 1999 audit, its ability to detect, understand, and prevent the harmful effects of toxic substances is still limited. The processes we observed seem to defy timely, decisive and precautionary action.”  The report went on to list specific problems regarding pesticides, including: few of the pesticides approved for use decades ago have been re-evaluated against current standards, and there is still no database on pesticides sales to assist in monitoring the risks to health, safety, and the environment.  A response from the PMRA to this report is pending.

 

A private members Bill: C-236 was introduced in the House of Commons of Canada on October 22, 2002 by Mr. Clifford Lincoln (Lac-Saint-Louis, Lib.). This Bill, if passed, would prohibit the use of chemical pesticides for non-essential purposes to take effect on April 22, 2003 (Earth Day). This legislation would apply to all provinces in Canada. The legislation aims to place a moratorium on the cosmetic use of chemical pesticides in the home and garden and on recreational facilities such as parks and golf courses, until scientific evidence is provided to Parliament that shows that the use of the pest control product is safe for the health of humans and domestic animals; agricultural and forestry uses would be exempt.

 

Provincial Initiatives

 

At the provincial level, Quebec is taking steps to control pesticide use across the Province.  In Ontario, although the Municipal Act will see changes on January 1, 2003, they are not directly aimed at pesticide control but may impact upon municipal authority in this area.

 

The Province of Quebec introduced a Pesticide Management Code on July 3, 2002 proposing to regulate the use and sale of pesticides for non-agricultural purposes across the Province.  Elements of the proposed Code include aiming for a progressive decrease in and more prudent use of pesticides, prohibiting the use of those pesticides that pose the greatest risk on public, semi-public and municipal green areas with the prohibition to be phased in on private and commercial green spaces.  More details on the proposed Code are included in Document 4.  The implications of the new code and its associated amendments, once enacted, will impose the most restrictive rules on pesticide sales and usage of all of the Provinces.

 

There are no direct legal implications on the City of Ottawa as this is Quebec legislation applicable only in that Province.  Implementation of this code may, however, have some indirect ramifications on the City of Ottawa.  For example, Quebec residents may travel to Ontario to purchase pesticides at the retail outlets, and Ontario lawn-care businesses operating in Quebec will have to abide by the new rules. 

 

Within Ontario, changes to the Municipal Act come into effect on January 1, 2003.  The City of Ottawa wished to consider whether it should regulate pesticide use on private property prior to these changes. Specifically, Ontario municipalities were concerned that repealing section 102 of the current Act and replacing it with section 130 of the new Municipal Act would affect a municipality’s authority to regulate pesticide use.  Legal opinion on this question indicates that a carefully crafted by-law taking into account, in drafting, the principles similar to those included in the Town of Hudson by-law[8], and not causing a direct operational conflict with federal or provincial law, would be upheld as valid legislation, both under the current section 102 of the Municipal Act, and section 130 of the new Municipal Act.

 

Details of the legal interpretation relating to upcoming changes to the Municipal Act are included in Document 5.

 

Other municipalities in Canada- how are they approaching reducing the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes?

 

There are many ways that a municipality can reduce the use of pesticides for cosmetic or non-essential purposes. Various methods that forty Canadian municipalities are currently using as part of their pesticides reduction strategy are described in text and summarized in table format in Document 6.  The table categorizes municipalities according to population size, land area, details of their Council-approved approach and method used to reduce pesticide use on both public and private property.

 

The majority of municipalities who are considering approaches to reduce pesticide use within their boundaries have generally started with efforts to reduce cosmetic pesticide use on their own properties.  Many municipalities are currently evaluating how they might accomplish reductions of pesticide use on private property and are involved in review and public consultation on the issue.  Cities currently at this stage include Toronto, Winnipeg, London, Victoria (have drafted a by-law), Barrie, Kingston,

Oakville, St. Catharines, Guelph, Peterborough, Sarnia, Waterloo, North Vancouver, Caledon, Owen Sound, Stratford and Port Moody (BC).  Some municipalities such as Calgary, Toronto, London and Port Moody have employed public education and awareness programs on pesticide use.  Nine municipalities have passed municipal regulations – these are Shediac NB, Halifax NS, Westmount PQ, Beaconsfield PQ, Mont Royal PQ, Chelsea PQ, Hudson PQ, Roxboro PQ and Cobalt ON.

 

Health and Environmental Effects

 

There are two main areas of concern regarding pesticide use within the community, environment and health. 

 

From an environmental perspective, although some pesticides are species-specific, there are others that do not differentiate between pests and beneficial organisms. Pesticides can harm non-targeted species such as bees, birds, soil and aquatic organisms. Once applied to a lawn or garden, a pesticide may migrate or be dispersed into the air, soil, and water.  


The degree of movement will depend upon both chemical and physical characteristics of the pesticide (for example, volatility, persistence and solubility) and the climatic conditions such as wind speed at the time of application, soil moisture content, application method and the degree of wind, heat and rainfall/moisture that follows application. While the quantities may be minute, there are no definitive studies on long-term cumulative effects of low-level exposure of lawn and garden pesticides on the environment.  Document 7 provides a summary of the available information on environmental effects from lawn and garden pesticides.

 

A growing number of scientific studies point to serious health risks associated with the use of pesticides.  Nevertheless, the evidence is not definitive because not all studies reach the same conclusions. Researching the long-term effects of exposure to pesticides is a difficult task because illnesses can occur years after the exposure, and there are many environmental toxins to which people are exposed during their lives. For these reasons, researchers talk about ‘links’ and ‘associations’ with regard to pesticides rather than causes. Certain questions need to be asked to determine the risk to a particular individual. Is the exposure happening at a vulnerable stage of physical development, such as during pregnancy or childhood? Is a mixture of pesticides being used, which may increase the total toxicity? Does the exposed person have a genetic make-up that makes him or her more susceptible to environmental hazards?  Document 8 provides the City’s review of the literature on the health effects of pesticides with some highlights noted here.

 

A 2002 Toronto Public Health report, “Lawn and Garden Pesticides: A Review of Human Exposure and Health Effects Research,” fully reviewed the subject and highlighted three types of health problems linked to the use of pesticides. [9] These include some cancers  (such as leukemias and lymphomas), reproductive effects (i.e. fertility problems, birth defects, adverse pregnancy outcomes) and neurological effects (such as Parkinson’s disease). The report states that all the potential risks posed by pesticides – particularly hormonal changes and effects on the immune system - cannot be fully predicted by the current ways of measuring risks.  The health effects and potential risks from exposure to pesticides may never be completely understood, the report says, and concludes: “a precautionary approach concerning residential-use pesticides is prudent and advisable.” 

 

The continuing degradation of the environment is in itself a long-term health risk, as humans are dependent for survival on clean water, clean air, and an ecological interaction with other species such as earthworms, which aerate the soil, and bees, which pollinate crops.  Humans are beginning to accept the fact that their health is dependent on a balanced relationship with the surrounding environment.  What we do to the air, the water, and the land, we also do to ourselves. While we cannot, (and should not) try to rid our environment of all pesticides, we can do what is possible and reasonable by   drastically reducing or eliminating aesthetic use, especially since alternatives exist. Lastly, it is important to note that there may be occasions when pesticides are needed as a last resort to control the spread of diseases such as the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus. 


Public Education and Awareness

 

In order to effect a change in behaviour, the City first needed to provide information to people on alternative methods that would result in reduced use of pesticides.  An April 2002 survey of residents revealed a significant opportunity to provide this information. More than half of the homeowners who indicated that they use pesticides on their lawn or garden also noted that they would be receptive to trying alternative pest control methods.  This finding as well as other information from the survey formed the basis of the pesticide awareness campaign that the City launched in 2002. 

 

The education program aimed to raise public awareness on pesticide use, to encourage people to consider alternatives to chemical pesticides, to encourage them to seek information on alternatives, to provide background information and to promote the overall benefits of alternatives in the care of our lawns and gardens.  The campaign also aimed to have people understand what they were actually using by “reading the label”.  This objective arose from the finding of the April survey where about 20% of residents were unaware that they were using products that contained pesticides when they thought the products they were using only contain fertilizers.

 

The City launched the campaign "This is a beautiful Lawn- Ça, c'est une belle pelouse" on June 7, 2002.  Supporting materials included:

 

How effective was the public awareness program?

 

Decima Research Inc. conducted a research study to measure the effectiveness of the City’s public education campaign September 11-18, 2002 by way of a series of questions on the Ottawa Market Pulse omnibus survey[10].   The full set of polling results are attached as Document 10.  In addition, a public opinion survey on pesticide usage, attitudes and knowledge was conducted April 2-10, 2002.  Full results of this research were released in May, 2002.  The Executive Summary for this work is attached as Document 11.

  

The findings of the research study conducted in September 2002 indicate that the City’s public education campaign regarding the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes on residential properties was very effective. Between April[11] and September a major shift has occurred from a general awareness of a controversy surrounding pesticide use to a more specific understanding of the issues that are connected to their use. Overall recall of the campaign and specific recall of messages are very positive considering the short duration and limited placement of advertising for this campaign.  Participants’ recall of the campaign’s main messages focused on a few key areas of health, environment, alternatives, and a reduction of use. 43% of those recalling the campaign said they were prompted to think about their use of pesticides. 

 

Other measures of interest in the awareness program can be gathered from the number of calls for information received on the automated pesticide information line, and the number of hits on the City’s website- “This is a beautiful lawn”.  As of November 1, the web site received over 7,000 visits and staff received 179 calls for information on alternatives through the telephone information line. Of those, 93 requested the ‘This is a Beautiful Lawn” information kits, and the remaining 86 received verbal information to their inquiries.

 

Consumer attitudes to Pesticides and their Use

Eight in ten City of Ottawa homeowners have a lawn or garden and approximately 40% of this group, or about one-third of households, currently use chemical pesticides according to the two surveys of City residents conducted by Decima Research Inc. in 2002.  A weed-free lawn is the main reason that users give for choosing chemical pesticides.

 

The survey also shows that many people are not aware that the products they use on their property are in fact chemical pesticides (for example, the weed part of a “weed and feed” granular mixture).  Some other results of note include:

 

Attitudes toward lawns

 

Beautiful green spaces in the urban environment are beneficial in many respects. Green spaces are aesthetically pleasing, provide natural cooling in the urban heat island, retain topsoil, prevent run-off of sediment and pollutants into surface water, can reduce leaching of pollutants to surface and ground water and provide pleasant recreational opportunities on private and public lands.

 

Opinions on how to best keep our beneficial spaces green and healthy and in fact what is a beautiful green space run a range of viewpoints, as heard from residents over the past year. Some people believe strongly that as a community we need to adjust our expectations about what makes a beautiful property and to create green spaces that are less reliant on chemical products and subsequently better able to resist damaging pests and unwelcome weeds.  Some questions to ask ourselves include: Do we really need to spray these chemicals on our lawns just to destroy some plants and insects that we think are pests.  We need to change our ideas about what makes a beautiful lawn. This is the message that has been part of the City’s public awareness campaign.

 

The range of viewpoints expressed includes the following:

·        The best means to keep a lawn healthy and in a weed-free, insect-free condition is the appropriate use of chemical pest control products.

·        Healthy lawns and gardens maintained with chemical-pesticide-free horticultural methods are naturally more resistant to weed and insect infestations and any pests can be managed with non-chemical means.

·        Integrated Pest Management (which includes pesticides as one tool among a broad range of horticultural techniques) is the best means to maintain a beautiful lawn with limited use of pesticides. 

·        Adopt Integrated Plant Health Care to maintain healthy green spaces. Integrated Plant Health Care considers the use of chemical pesticides, not so much as a “tool in the toolbox” but as an absolute last resort when all other methods have failed.

 

What is the best way to reduce pesticide use on private property?

 

Pesticide use on private property is a complicated issue that cuts across many beliefs and rights. Many believe that they have the right to do as they choose on their property, and for many, the maintenance of a lawn with non-ornamental species (weeds for example.) is a high priority.


Others believe that pesticides present serious, and in some cases irreversible harm, to humans and to the environment, and that private property rights must not supercede the rights of others to safety and good health. 

 

In situations where the activities of one person in a community can have a detrimental impact on another, and subject to any conflicting provisions in federal and provincial legislation, municipal by-laws can be used to provide regulatory protection to the ones affected.

 

In the case of pesticides, some citizens are affected by the pesticide use of their neighbours. Some individuals can experience acute health effects when pesticides are applied in the area surrounding their homes.

 

Staff, in concert with community groups and industry, developed a series of optional approaches that the City of Ottawa might use to encourage a reduction or even elimination in the non-essential use of chemical lawn and garden pesticides on private property across the municipality.  These options were presented to the community through a public consultation process, stakeholder meetings and focus groups.

 

Four options were proposed for consideration during the consultation process. The first was to continue the City’s existing public awareness and education campaign on pesticide reduction. Option two centered on enhancing the awareness campaign and included a public-private outreach program.  The third option incorporated the elements contained in either Option 1 or 2, but also examines the idea of industry self-regulation through voluntary compliance of predetermined standards.  The final option sought the public’s views on municipal regulation.  The regulatory features ranged from permitting and signage requirements of homeowners, to creating buffer zones for sensitive populations to an overall prohibition of cosmetic use of pesticides on all private property.  Document 12 provides a detailed description of these options.

 

Public Consultation -Opinions expressed regarding the City’s pesticide reduction options

 

The purpose of the public consultation was to determine the public attitude, awareness and preference for how the City should effect longer-term reduction of cosmetic pesticide use on private property.

 

The consultation process included:

1.                  Seven (7) public meetings;

2.                  Two community meetings held at the request of local Councillors;

3.                  Four focus group sessions;

4.                  Stakeholder group meeting; and

5.                  Written comments, received via e-mail and regular mail.

 

The seven (7) public meetings were distributed geographically across the City and occurred between October 9th and 17th , 2002,  to encourage and enable as many people from the community to attend as possible with additional meetings held in the Goulbourn and Rideau wards, at the request of the community.  Approximately 700 people attended these meetings and provided feedback on the four options (Document 12), either presented at the meetings or submitted in writing. 

 

In general, responses ranged from those wishing to see more or continued education and promotion of alternatives to pesticides, and those who wished to see pesticide use controlled in some manner.  It should be noted that many of the residents in favour of some form of regulation also stressed that they did not favour a total ban.  Almost all the speakers, regardless of their preferred option, favoured an aggressive education campaign to promote the use of alternative pest management methods, to help people understand how and what alternatives work and to achieve a reduction in pesticide usage.

 

Feedback obtained through the stakeholder sessions reflected similar comments and preferences as those presented through the public meetings.  The opportunity to discuss the options in smaller groups, however, resulted in more targeted and in-depth exploration of the benefits and challenges offered by each of the options.  These more detailed discussions also provided staff with greater insight into what a reduction strategy could entail.  The majority of constructive suggestions offered by stakeholders and by the public have been incorporated into the recommended strategy.

 

Results of the focus groups revealed that participants were somewhat familiar with the issues surrounding the use of pesticides.  Most had read or heard of pesticide use through the media or through municipal initiatives such as bus posters and lawn signs. Even though many acknowledged that the use of chemicals is not entirely good for one’s health or the environment, most felt that they needed more information to be able to take a definite stance in favor of or against the use of pesticides on private lands.  Upon reviewing the options being considered by the municipality, participants reinforced the need for public education.  Participants were generally supportive of the options presented by the City to reduce the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes.  They were also pleased that the public was being consulted.

 

Document 13 provides a description of the results from the City’s public consultation process on pesticide reduction.

 

It should also be noted that the results of the public consultation are similar to those obtained through a local survey that asked residents about their level of support for municipal regulation of pesticide use.  Every year, health units in cities across Ontario - including Ottawa Public Health - participate in York University’s Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS), which surveys residents on health-related issues such as the cosmetic use of pesticides.  From January to August, 2002, the RRFSS surveyed a total of roughly 840 Ottawa residents on their attitudes about lawn and garden pesticides. Of 843 people surveyed, 71.5 per cent strongly or somewhat supported a by-law banning the use of pesticides on municipal properties, and of 841 people surveyed, 61.9 per cent strongly or somewhat supported a by-law banning the use of pesticides on private lawns and gardens. 

 

What can we draw from the consultations and the research?

 

Through 2002, City staff conducted a public education campaign, researched environmental and health effects noted in the literature, obtained information on how other jurisdictions are approaching pesticide use reduction and consulted with the public for their input as to how the City should accomplish longer term reduction of cosmetic pesticide use on private property. 


Staff have synthesized and analyzed this information, in the context of balancing various perspectives, attempting to represent the broad public interest and choosing an approach that has a reasonable chance of success.  In addition, consideration has been given to the evolution process that occurs when people consider and adopt a change in behaviour.

 

The review of available information on environmental and health effects reveals scientific uncertainty regarding the long-term health and environmental risks associated with cosmetic pesticide use.  Sufficient information does exist, however, to support strong action towards reducing cosmetic pesticide use within the City to protect and maintain the health of our citizens and our environment.  In reviewing the work of other jurisdictions on this issue, it appears that others are reaching similar conclusions.

 

The public consultation process provided staff with the clear picture that:

Ø      There is a significant amount of support for some form of municipal control of pesticide use on private property;

Ø      At the same time a significant amount of support exists to give people the information they need to choose alternative methods;

Ø      There is a recognition by all concerned parties that pesticides are not a desirable product in the community; and

Ø      There also is a clear desire by all sides of the issue for a strong public education program to inform the public on alternatives to pesticides as a way of reducing the use of pesticides on private property.

 

Public health issues evolve in a specific way.  People first become aware of a public-health problem and as a result, move gradually toward changing their practices.  The stages of this change have traditionally been identified as awareness, interest, trial and then adoption.  Some people (called innovators) are the first to change their practices, followed by early adopters, the early majority, and the late majority. Lastly, there is also a small proportion of people who do not change their behaviour despite increased awareness and ultimately require legislation.   

 

Public health education and legislation can both be important elements in a campaign to change practices in order to improve the health of a population. Seat belt laws are a good example of legislation enacted to achieve public-health goals. Implementing legislation too early in the evolution of a campaign, however, can create havoc in the community and produce unintended results.  For example, when the City of Toronto implemented its 100% smoke-free by-laws in 1997, the public was not ready due to a lack of education. Because of that, there was widespread non-compliance and the regulations had to be repealed only weeks later. Compared to other jurisdictions, Toronto now lags behind in its implementation of smoke-free by-laws for public places.  

 

Environmental concerns have been discussed for about four decades in North America, but the issue of the cosmetic use of pesticides has only recently been addressed by the public at large. Cosmetic pesticides are still being heavily used in Ottawa even though there is increasing concern about the health and environmental effects of these chemicals. Public awareness of an initiative does not always indicate an immediate readiness to change practices.


While recognizing that a certain percentage of the population will not change their practices based on public-health education alone, it is clear that many citizens of Ottawa are now willing to reduce their use of pesticides and consider alternatives (Decima survey, Sept. 2002), which perhaps indicates a voluntary shift from the ‘interest’ stage to the ‘trial’ stage.

 

The speed with which people will change their lawn-care practices is difficult to predict and depends on a number of factors including: regulations and campaigns in other jurisdictions, new scientific information on the risks of pesticides, political leadership, mobilization at the grass-roots level, a willingness of the lawn-care industry to offer alternatives to pesticides, and the quality of an education campaign. Any legislation should be timed properly so that the public is adequately educated about the issue, which would presumably result in higher levels of compliance. 

 

Conclusions

 

In 2002, residents demonstrated a major shift from a general awareness of a controversy surrounding pesticide use to a more specific understanding of the issues that are connected to their use. Overall recall of the awareness campaign and specific recall of messages are very positive considering the short duration and limited placement of advertising for this campaign.  43% of those recalling the campaign said they were prompted to think about their use of pesticides.

 

An estimated 100,000 City households are currently using some form of chemical pesticides for cosmetic purposes to maintain their lawns and gardens. Opinions expressed in the April public opinion survey and the recent focus groups and public meetings suggest that many of these households are receptive to considering alternatives to pesticide use.  During 2002, the issue of pesticide use and reduction has been brought to the attention of many residents in the City as exemplified by the opinions expressed during the consultations.  Many individuals, groups and businesses have an important and keen interest in this matter.  This is an important time to seize on this opportunity and build on the community awareness work that has been developed by the City.

 

To accomplish a longer-term reduction in the cosmetic use of pesticides on private property within the City of Ottawa, based on all of the above, staff recommend the following approach:

 

The City will work closely with the community to obtain a significant voluntary reduction in cosmetic pesticide use on private property over the next three years.   Achievement of the target would be coordinated by City staff but would be primarily a cooperative and shared effort amongst all groups who are involved in or have an ability to influence pest control practices.  The program will include the following elements:

·        Establish a target for reduced cosmetic pesticide use by 2005, both in terms of the number of pesticide users and the volumes applied. The target would be set by considering current pesticide usage in terms of number of users, land use type, area of application, volume applied and potentially type of pesticide used.  Monitoring systems will include a variety of methods in order to provide an ability to verify progress. 


 

·        Establish a dedicated resource, with expertise in horticulture and community development, to provide advice on alternative pest control methods to City operations and to the community.  This resource would coordinate most of the initiatives noted below. 

o       Through this ‘balanced’ approach, we are able to look at the allergies and sensitivities that are associated with pesticides, as well as those related to weeds and other allergens.

 

 

It is estimated that approximately one-third or 100,000 households within the City currently use pesticides.  Achievement of the reduction target should include both numbers of households and volumes of product used.  Data sources would include information obtained through population surveys, retail sales and from various industry sectors.  It may also be appropriate to establish reduction targets by sector, depending upon the current level of pesticide use.  By tying the success of the program to achieving a performance target, it is believed that a strong incentive to succeed would be created.  Upon successful achievement of our target, the City would determine how to effectively accomplish future reductions in pesticide use.  

 

To evaluate the efficacy of the education and awareness campaign, three components will be tracked during its implementation: campaign awareness, attitude change, and behaviour change. The data to be tracked will include a combination of quantitative data (e.g., survey results, hits to the website) and qualitative information, such as the tone of media coverage, to best understand how well we are doing.  Results will be compared over each year to gain an understanding of the changes in awareness, attitudes, and behaviours that result from the overall program efforts.

 

At the end of 2005, the City would evaluate the effectiveness of reduction efforts and the methods required to continue to significantly reduce pesticide use.  Should the 2005 targets not be met, implementation of a by-law would be a key consideration for the City's strategy to reduce cosmetic pesticide use in 2006.

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS

 

Implementation of this strategy to reduce cosmetic pesticide use within the City would see a reduction in lawn and garden care pesticides released to our air, water and soil.  With an increase in healthy lawn and garden practices, including the use of less pesticides, a potential increase in compost/organic fertilizers and increased plant diversity, an improved balance in other ecosystems is also expected.  For example, as the systems in our green spaces become healthier and more diverse in plant species, the diversity of other species – insect, animal, birds - will follow.  It is expected that this balance will help reduce the number and severity of pest infestations that the City will see, over time.   

 

RURAL IMPLICATIONS

 

Although the focus of this strategy is to reduce cosmetic pesticide use within the urban areas of the City, rural residents and businesses who have lawns and gardens will also be requested to join in the effort and contribute towards a reduction in use. 


 

CONSULTATION

 

Public consultations on ways of reducing or eliminating lawn and garden pesticides on private property in the City of Ottawa were conducted as part of the development of the pesticides reduction strategy. These sessions were advertised in daily and community newspapers and noted on the City’s website.  The meetings were structured such that staff gave an overview of the project and the four options that were under consideration.  Supporting materials on the options, such as a copy of the staff presentation and a question and answer booklet were also available to all attendees.  A moderator facilitated the meeting to ensure everyone who wished to, were provided with an opportunity to speak.  Attendees were invited to speak, submit written comments and /or send in a feedback form on their opinion of the options.  The feedback form also allowed for the opportunity to add additional options or to disagree with the entire pesticide reduction strategy. 

 

The City also obtained feedback on how the City should approach longer-term reductions in cosmetic pesticide use through the conduct of focus groups, discussions with stakeholders, consideration of written submissions and review of results from other recent public consultation sessions (i.e. Ottawa 20/20 sessions).

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

The funds, totaling $400,000, to support the Pesticide Reduction Strategy proposed in this report are included in the base budgets of the 2003 operating estimates, as follows:

 

ATTACHMENTS

 

Document 1 – Pesticides Commonly Used or Available for Lawn and Garden Application

 

Document 2 – Pesticide Law and Policy in Canada – The Regulatory Process

 

Document 3 – Proposed Changes to the federal Pest Control Products Act

 

Document 4 – Proposed Pesticide Management Code for the Province of Quebec

 

Document 5 - New Municipal Act:  Implications to Municipal Pesticide Regulation

 

Document 6 - Pesticide Use Reduction Initiatives Within Other Jurisdictions

 

Document 7 - Environmental Effects of Pesticides

 

Document 8 - Pesticides and Health

 

Document 9 – EnviroCentre’s Lawn (+Child) Care Research – Executive Summary 

 

Document 10 - Pesticide Use and Attitude Survey  (April 2002)

 

Document 11 - Pesticide Reduction Campaign: Research Results Summary (Sept. 2002)

 

Document 12 – Options for Pesticide Reduction on Private Property – Fall 2002 Public Consultation

 

Document 13 – Results of City of Ottawa’s Public Consultation on Pesticide Reduction

 

Document 14 – Proposed Campaign Plan to Enhance Public Education & Awareness

 

DISPOSITION

 

Environmental Management staff within the Planning, Environment and Infrastructure Policy Branch of the Development Services Department would be responsible for administration and coordination of the resources identified to work collaboratively with the community to achieve a reduction in cosmetic pesticide use.  Staff from both Environmental Management and the Environmental Health group of the Public Health and Long-Term Care Branch, People Services Department, would continue to provide content expertise and direction to the program.  In concert with Environmental Management and Environmental Health, the Communications & Marketing Branch would also provide advice on matters relating to advertising, awareness-building and education.

 

 


Document 1-

Appendix 1 - Table 1: Pesticides Commonly Used or Available for Lawn and Garden Applications, Toronto Public Heath, April 2002

Source: Toronto Public Health - Lawn and Garden Pesticides: A Review of Human Exposure & Health Effects Research

 
 


Pesticide

Class

Target

Mode of Action

Trade or Common Names

Acute Toxicity (87)

Regulatory Status

HERBICIDES

2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D)

Phenoxy Acid

Various Broadleaf Weeds

Systemic Herbicide

Affects plant growth

Killex, Tricep, Premium, 3-way, Par 3 and Trillion (88)

Moderate to slight

General Use Pesticide

Under re-evaluation since 1992

APUUP (89)

Mecoprop (MCPP)

Phenoxy Acid

Various Broadleaf Weeds

Systemic Herbicide

Affects plant growth

Killex, Tricep, Premium, 3-way, Par 3 and Trillion

Slight

General Use Pesticide

APUUP

Dicamba

Phenoxy Acid

Various Broadleaf Weeds

Systemic Herbicide

Affects plant growth

Killex, Tricep, Premium, 3-way, Par 3 and Trillion

Slight

General Use Pesticide

APUUP

4-chloro-2-methyl-phenoxyacetic acid (MCPA)

Phenoxy Acid

Various Broadleaf Weeds

Systemic Herbicide

Affects plant growth

Herbatox (?)

Slight

General Use Pesticide

APUUP

Glyphosphate

Organophosphate

Broadleaf weeds, grasses

Broad spectrum, non-selective, systemic

Roundup

Gallup, Landmaster, Pondmaster, Ranger, Rodeo, Touchdown

Slight

General Use Pesticide

INSECTICIDES

Carbaryl

Carbamate

Various insects (earwigs, ants, grasshoppers)

Cholinesterase inhibitor (reversible)

Sevin

Slight

General Use Pesticide

APUUP

 

Pesticide

Class

Target

Mode of Action

Trade or Common Names

Acute Toxicity

Regulatory Status

Chloropyrifos

Organophosphate

Various Insects

Grubs

Cholinesterase inhibitor

Dursban, Lorsban, Pyrifos

Moderate to slight

Re-evaluation of organophosphates (PMRA, 1999)

Phase-out of residential use products by 2002 (PMRA, 2000)

Diazinon

Organophosphate

Various Insects

Cholinesterase inhibitor

Basudin

Moderate

Re-evaluation of organophosphates (PMRA, 1999)

Phase-out of residential use products by 2003(PMRA, 2001)

Malathion

Organophosphate

Various insects (aphids, spider mites, tent caterpillars, etc.)

Cholinesterase inhibitor

 

Moderate

General Use Pesticide

Re-evaluation of organophosphates (PMRA,1999) and APUUP

D trans allethrin

(bioallethrin or allethrin

Pyrethroid

Various Insects

Spiders

 

various

Moderate

General Use Pesticide

Permethrin

Pyrethroid

Various Insects, ear wigs, spiders, sowbugs

 

various

 

General Use Pesticide

Resmethrin

Pyrethroid

Various insects

Hornets, wasps

 

Various

 

General Use Pesticide

Imidacloprid

Chloro-nicotinyl

Various insects

Blocks nicotinergic pathways

Merit

Slight

Restricted use, only by licensed applicators

Pesticide

Class

Target

Mode of Action

Trade or Common Names

Acute Toxicity

Regulatory Status

FUNGICIDES

Benomyl

Benzimidazole

Disease, mold on fruits & vegetable

 

(Benlate)

Slight

General Use Pesticide

(Voluntary withdrawal of product announced in U.S Oct. 2001)

Captan

Phthalimide

Plant disease, blight, mold

 

 

Slight

General Use Pesticide

___ Sources: EXTOXNET Pesticide Information Profiles; OMAFRA (1999); PMRA label search

__________________

(87) - High acute toxicity means the substance is extremely dangerous if not properly handled and can be fatal in relatively small amounts (0.1 to 3.0 ml.)

Moderate acute toxicity means the substance is of moderate danger if not properly handled.  They can be fatal in larger amounts than high acute toxicity substances (3 to 30ml.)

Low acute toxicity means the substance should be handled with caution, but is only fatal if there is deliberate ingestion of amounts greater than 30 ml.

(Source: OMAFRA, 1999)

(88) - Mixtures of 2,4-d, dicamba and mecoprop

(89) - APUUP = Action Plan on Urban Use Pesticides, the re-evaluation of seven common lawn and garden pesticides (PMRA, 2000)

 

 

Extracted from: Lawn and Garden Pesticides: A Review of Human Exposure and Health Effects Research, Medical Officer of Health, City of Toronto, April, 2002.

 


Document 2 – Pesticide Law and Policy in Canada – The Regulatory Process

 

Pesticide Law and Policy in Canada- the Regulatory Process

 

Role of the Federal Government:

 

The federal government has jurisdiction over the approval of the import, export and manufacture of pesticides, the registration of use in Canada and labeling, while the provinces have the authority to approve or ban their use within the province and regulate the conditions of use.

 

The federal legislation that applies to pesticides is the Pest Control Products Act (PCP Act). Regulations under this Act provide that any pest control product used or manufactured in Canada must be registered with the federal government.

 

It is the role of the federal Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), under Health Canada, to protect human health and the environment against the risks posed by pest control products while preserving for society the benefits of these same products.  The PMRA bases its decisions on a scientific process known as risk assessment. Risk assessment is the overall procedure that identifies, analyses and evaluates the chance of harm or injury to people and the environment from a given substance. The risk to human health and the environment from the use of a pesticide depends on 1) the toxicity of the pesticide and 2) the amount and degree to which humans and the environment are exposed as a result.

 

In order for the PMRA to assess a product’s safety for use, the manufacturer must provide the PMRA with information about the product that allows it to judge the safety of the product, including multiple types of toxicity tests from animal testing programs conducted by independent laboratories. These laboratories must adhere to an internationally recognized standard protocol for testing (Good Laboratory Practice).[12]

 

Based on this assessment process the PMRA decides whether to grant a pesticide product approval for use. If these risks are deemed to be acceptable by a wide margin of safety, and can be managed through proper labeling information for the product, it is approved and registered for use.  Any use in contravention of the label is illegal under the PCP Act.

 

There are few pesticides that do not require safety precautions to achieve an acceptable level of risk. In fact, most pesticides require very specific measures to achieve an acceptable level of risk. In each case, the selected strategy provides the basis for specific registration conditions and restrictions. They are specified on the label and include domestic, commercial, restricted category, permit requirement, use conditions and restrictions, measures to protect users and the environment, re-entry and pre-harvest conditions, and buffer zones.[13]

 

If approved, a pesticide product is issued a Pest Control Product Act Registration number.

 

Existing legislation forbids anyone from marketing, selling, or making claims about any “alternative” products that are not legally registered for the “claimed use”.

 

In addition the PCP Act forbids anyone from packaging, labeling or advertising any control product in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to create an erroneous impression regarding its character, value, quantity, composition, merit or safety.

 

Provincial role in pesticide regulation.

 

In Ontario, the Pesticides Act and its regulations govern the shipment, sale, application, storage and disposal of pesticides. The Act also regulates the permitting requirements, training, certification and licensing of commercial applicators and retailers of pesticides.

 

The province, essentially, manages the risks posed by the pesticides by controlling who may apply them through a series of six pesticide classifications based upon toxicity, persistence (longevity), and mobility. The classifications rank products on the basis of how toxic and persistent they are. For example, a Schedule 1 pesticide is in the “Restricted Category”. Every pesticide in this category is very toxic, very persistent and highly mobile in the environment. Only licensed applicators or certified agriculturists may use this category of pesticide and must apply for a permit first. The regulations require that applicators of pesticides in restricted categories (Schedules 1,2 and 5) be trained in pesticide safety and certified at least once every five years. As well, commercial applicators must post signs identifying that they have applied a pesticide, and what the pesticide was.

 

Three of the pesticide categories (Schedules 3,4 and 6)-ranging from moderate toxicity and persistence to low toxicity and no persistence-are available to homeowners without any licensing or permitting requirements. Provincial law does require homeowners and licensed applicators to follow the instructions on the product label. 

 

Municipal role in pesticide regulation

 

At the municipal level, high population concentrations in urban areas increase the possibility that one person’s use of their property might conflict with another person’s enjoyment of theirs.

 

It often falls to municipalities to impose by-laws and land use restrictions to reduce the potential for these kinds of conflict.

 

Municipalities sometime pass by-laws to reflect local values. In its consideration of a Quebec community’s pesticide by-law, the Supreme Court of Canada observed that “ law-making is often best achieved at a level of government that is closest to the citizens affected and thus most responsive to their needs, to local distinctiveness and to population diversity.”(Hudson Quebec decision)

 

In Canada, provincial governments establish powers and capacities of municipalities through legislation. Though various pieces of provincial legislation, municipalities have the power to pass by-laws.  The Ontario Municipal Act (Section 102) provides municipalities with the power to make by-laws regulating health, safety, morality and welfare of its inhabitants. This is important because in June 2001 the Supreme Court of Canada found a legitimate municipal power to control the use of pesticides under a similar clause in Quebec law.

 

 


Document 3 – Proposed Changes to the federal Pest Control Products Act

 

Proposed Pest Control Products Act

On March 21, the Federal Minister of Health introduced in the House of Commons Bill C53/C8 to enact a new Pest Control Products Act (PCPAct).  Changes proposed in the new Act, as identified in the News Release provided by Health Canada, include:

-requiring special protection for infants and children;

-taking into account pesticide exposure from all sources, including food and water, and considering the cumulative effects of pesticides that can act in the same way; and,

-supporting pesticide risk reduction, for example, ensuring only pesticides that make a useful contribution to pest management are registered and encouraging the registration of lower-risk products.

-establishing a public registry to allow access to detailed evaluation reports on registered pesticides;

-allowing the public to view the test data on which these pesticide evaluations are based; and,

-allowing the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) to share scientific studies with provincial/territorial and international regulators, which will enhance the process for international reviews of pesticides, giving Canada equal access to newer, safer pesticides so they can be competitive in the marketplace.

-requiring pesticide companies to report adverse effects;

-requiring re-evaluations of older pesticides 15 years after they are registered and providing the Minster of Health with the authority to remove pesticides from the market if required data are not supplied; and,

providing increased powers of inspection and higher maximum penalties, up to $1million of the most serious offences, when pesticides are not marketed or used in accordance with the law.

 

The proposed new PCPAct does not change the balance of federal, provincial/territorial municipal powers or responsibilities in pest management regulation. The federal government through the Pest Management Regulatory Agency will continue to collaborate closely with the provinces/territories to support sustainable pest management and to minimize the risks associated with the use of pesticides.

 

Various background documents associated with the proposed new Act may be accessed thought the Health Canada website. The internet links are www.hc-sc.gc.ca and www.hc-sc.gc.ca/pmra-arla.  The proposed Act is not yet enacted.

 


Document 4 – Proposed Pesticide Management Code for the Province of Quebec

 

The Province of Quebec proposed new Pesticide Management Code

 

At the HRSSC meeting of July 18, staff were requested to prepare an information report to the Health, Recreation & Social Services Committee and Council on a Government of Quebec initiative introduced on July 3, 2002 regarding the use and sale of pesticides for non-agricultural purposes. The inquiry requested that staff provide information on the details and the implications of this initiative.  The following information provides the response to this request.

 

General Overview of the Contents of the Code

 

 

The Quebec government has also stated that it intends to amend the Quebec Pesticides Act so that municipal authorities may maintain jurisdiction in these matters.  Currently, the Quebec Pesticides Act states that the provisions of the Pesticide Management code or other Regulations pursuant to this Act prevail over inconsistent provisions in a municipal by-law.

 

The same day that the draft Pesticide Management Code was made public, a regulation to amend the existing Provincial regulations regarding the sale and use of pesticides was also proposed.


 

These proposed changes will:

 

o       Harmonize classification of pesticides with the Federal Pest Control Products Act;

o       Update the classification of domestic pesticides regarding over-the-counter sales;

o       Create specific permits and certificates for retail sales businesses; and

o       Create a new subclass of certificates required for farmers and forest managers.

 

Implications

 

In general there are no direct legal implications on the City of Ottawa as this is Quebec legislation that is enforceable only in Quebec.  However it is an indication of the Quebec’s recognition of the harmful effects of pesticides and a commitment to a reduction in use of chemical pesticides over a three-year period. 

The impact of this code may however have some indirect ramifications on Ottawa. For example, Quebec residents may travel to Ontario to purchase pesticides at the retail outlets, and Ontario lawn-care business operating in Quebec will have to abide by the new rules. 

 

The implications of the new code and its associated amendments, once enacted, will impose the most restrictive rules on pesticide sales and usage of all of the Provinces.

 


Document 5 - New Municipal Act:  Implications to Municipal Pesticide Regulation

 

What is Council’s authority under the new Municipal Act 2001 to regulate the use of pesticides on private property if Council chooses to do so?

 

A memorandum, dated July 30, 2002 was provided to Council as an update on the City’s authority under the new Municipal Act 2001. In that memo an opinion was provided by the City Solicitor, which provided a context for the City’s legal authority.

 

Part of that memo described the history of the issue and referred to a report that was presented by the City Solicitor to the Health, Recreation and Social services Committee on July 17, 2001. That report provided a legal opinion following the release of the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Spraytech et al. v. Town of Hudson.  In that case, the Supreme Court of Canada held that it was within the ambit of authority of the Town of Hudson to regulate the use of pesticides on private property. Specifically, the Court found that the Town could regulate in this field based on the residual authority given to municipalities in the Cities and Towns Act of Quebec to regulate “for the general health and welfare” of its citizens.

 

Since Section 102 (the “health and safety” section) of the Ontario Municipal Act contains a similar provision as contained in the Quebec Act, the City Solicitor gave the opinion that the City of Ottawa also could regulate in this field.

 

However, the City Solicitor also advised that the wording of the successor section to Section (102) in the new Municipal Act, 2001, makes this opinion less certain.  It was noted that there has been significant legal commentary on the implications of the new wording. Some commentators, including the Canadian Environmental Law Association, still feel that there remains sufficient legal basis for municipalities to control the private use of pesticides.  However, all legal commentators agree that whereas post-Hudson it was clear that municipalities could regulate in this field, the wording in the new Act now eliminates that legal certainty.  The City Solicitor did advise Council that in his opinion such a by-law could be enacted before December 31, 2002 without fear of being struck down prior to 2006 under Section 240 of the new Municipal Act which grandfathers all existing by-laws. The new Act takes effect in January 2003.

 

As a result of this change, there has been some discussion among municipalities, which are considering the possible regulation of pesticides on private property, regarding the merits of enacting a by-law prior to December 31, 2002.

 

To obtain a more comprehensive opinion on this issue the City Solicitor requested, in conjunction with the City of Burlington and the Region of Waterloo, a legal opinion from the law firm of WeirFoulds LLP with respect to the power of Ontario municipalities to pass by-laws for the regulation of the non-essential use of pesticides.

 

An opinion letter prepared by WeirFoulds LLP, dated September 12, 2002, was submitted to the City Solicitor as part of this legal review. The conclusions section from this opinion letter is set out below.


 

In the context of the analysis, reasoning and authority set out in this letter it is their opinion that:

 

(1)    municipalities having powers under section 102 of the Ontario Municipal Act (not the Regional Municipality of Waterloo) have the power under that section to enact by-laws similar in principle to that dealt with by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Hudson case, provided that the provisions of such by-laws do not conflict, in the operational sense, with provincial or federal legislation. On January 1, 2003, section 102 of the current Act will be repealed and replaced by section 130 of the new Municipal Act.  Municipalities intending to enact by-laws of this kind after that date will have to be very careful to review all existing provincial legislation to ensure that no such by-law purports to regulate matters specifically provided for by the new Municipal Act or any other Act.

 

Under the new Municipal Act, all municipalities, including upper-tier municipalities, will have section 130 powers.

 

In the context of principles of interpretation developed by the courts, there is a substantial legal basis for the conclusion that the power to implement powers, such as that under discussion, will not be precluded under section 130 of the new Act, although there are also arguments to the contrary.

 

In the context of the foregoing discussion, it is WeirFoulds LLP’s opinion that a carefully crafted by-law taking into account, in drafting, the principles and analysis referred to above, and not causing a direct operational conflict with federal or provincial law, would be upheld as valid legislation, both under the current section 102 of the Municipal Act, and section 130 of the new Municipal Act.

 

In any event, under section 457 of the new Municipal Act, where a municipality has enacted a by-law under previous legislation, and loses power due to the coming into effect of the new Municipal Act, the by-law continues to be valid for three years after the coming into effect of the new Act.

 

In view of the potential for a court to hold that municipal powers to enact by-laws regulating pesticides may be lost or restricted under section 130 of the new Municipal Act, it is probably desirable that local municipalities enact such by-laws before the end of 2002;


 

2)      Where a municipal council deems non-essential pesticide use to constitute a public nuisance,[14] and such decision is reached in good faith, that municipalities which have the power, under the current section 210.140 of the Municipal Act and section 128 of the new Municipal Act (not the Region of Waterloo), to enact by-laws for prohibiting and regulating such public nuisances, may validly do so provided, once again, that there is no operational conflict with provincial or federal legislation The provision in the current Municipal Act is substantially the same as that which will be included in the new Act;

 

3)      Certain municipalities have the power to license, regulate and govern persons carrying on businesses such as commercial [application] of pesticides, pursuant to the provision of section 257.2(1) of the Municipal Act.

 

This power will continue under section 150 of the new Municipal Act, which will also specifically authorize such licensing powers to be imposed for the purposes of health and safety and nuisance control.


Document 6 - Pesticide Use Reduction Initiatives Within Other Jurisdictions

 

Other municipalities in Canada- how are they approaching reducing the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes?

 

There are many ways that a municipality can reduce the use of pesticides for cosmetic or non-essential purposes. Various methods that forty Canadian municipalities are currently using as part of their pesticides reduction strategy are described briefly and summarized in table format below.  The table categorizes municipalities according to population size, land area, details of their Council-approved approach and method used to reduce pesticide use on both public and private property. The information does not state the future intent of a municipality but their current approach as of the date of this report.

 

The majority of municipalities who are considering approaches to reduce pesticide use within their boundaries have generally started with efforts to reduce cosmetic pesticide use on their own properties.  Many municipalities are currently evaluating how they might accomplish reductions of pesticide use on private property and are involved in review and public consultation on the issue.  Cities currently at this stage include Toronto, Winnipeg, London, Victoria (have drafted a by-law), Barrie, Kingston,

Oakville, St. Catharines, Guelph, Peterborough, Sarnia, Waterloo, North Vancouver, Caledon, Owen Sound, Stratford and Port Moody (BC).  Some municipalities such as Calgary, Toronto, London and Port Moody have employed public education and awareness programs on pesticide use.  Nine municipalities have passed municipal regulations – these are Shediac NB, Halifax NS, Westmount PQ, Beaconsfield PQ, Mont Royal PQ, Chelsea PQ, Hudson PQ, Roxboro PQ and Cobalt ON.

 

Of the municipalities that have restricted pesticide use, it is noteworthy, that the municipality with the largest population to enact a municipal regulation restricting the use of pesticides on private property is the City of Halifax (360,000 people). None of the nine cities larger than Halifax (including Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg) that have identified pesticides as an issue, have to date employed this method of reducing the use of pesticides on private property. The municipality that was the subject of the Supreme Court challenge on its pesticides use by-law is Hudson, Québec (population 4,800). This is an important context for any discussion of a possible approach. The size of a municipality is reflective of the possible complexity of the implementation in such areas as the range of land uses, number of residents or users requiring education, number and range of sites where enforcement will be required, scope of program support costs for such areas as sample analysis, transportation.

 

For those municipalities that now regulate the cosmetic use of pesticides, they generally do not impose complete bans or total prohibitions. Rather, the by-laws tend to define which uses of pesticides or in what circumstances they are permitted (not purely for an aesthetic pursuit) and what areas or land uses are or may be exempt from the restrictions, with or with-out phase-out provisions. For example, the City of Halifax by-law applies to residential and municipal properties only and does not apply to commercial, industrial or institutional properties. These by-laws would appear to be consistent with the pesticides reduction and restriction authority that the Supreme Court ruled (Hudson case) in 2001, to be within the jurisdiction of a municipality.

 

The following table summarizes the pesticide reduction approaches of forty municipalities across Canada.


Municipality

Population

Land Area (Sq. km)

Details

Pesticide Use on Private Property?

Pesticide Use on Public Property?

Enforcement

Public Education

Toronto, ON

4,500,000

5902.74

In 1998 Toronto City Council passed a motion to restrict the use of pesticides on public lands. Presently, the City's outdoor pesticide use has been reduced by 97%.  In November 2001, City Council passed a motion to begin developing a strategy to phase-out non-essential uses of pesticides, including a process by which stakeholder and public consultations would take place, and a discussion document would be developed and distributed by Public Health. On November 8, the MOH issued a report to be considered Nov. 18, that is proposing a creation of a multi-stakeholder pesticide reduction partnership; pesticide reduction timelines and a detailed  3-year implementation plan to meet its targets; the report to be prepared by April 2003 would  include a policy that would form the basis of a municipal by-law to enforce outdoor pesticide reduction targets consistent with the objectives of the Pesticide Reduction Partnership.

No restrictions

IPM

n/a

The City has a public education campaign regarding the impacts of and alternatives to pesticides.

Vancouver, BC

1.831,000

2820.66

On September 12, 2002 Vancouver Council directed staff to consult  with stakeholders to address options for responsible pest management on private lands; to work with  Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and others on the development of a public education program at promoting IPM on private property with civic funding; work with GVRD, Lower Mainland municipalities to developing a coordinated regional approach to pesticide use restrictions and report back by July , 2003 on the status of these initiatives including potential effectiveness of a ban on pesticides in the Vancouver.

No restrictions

IPM

n/a

Staff has recommended an "IPM for the homeowner" program about alternatives  to pesticides

Calgary, AB

821,628

5083.28

Upon receiving a staff report in November 2001, the City Council voted down the idea of a pesticide ban and supported the proactive idea of a homeowner education program. To date, the Parks and Recreation Department have allocated $60,000 (minimum) toward this worthy project. Some city area garden centres and Alberta Environment have committed funding as well.

No restrictions

IPM

n/a

A sub-committee has been set up to determine the best practices and develop the program that will teach plant health care principles to homeowners. 

Ottawa, ON

775,000

2778.64

On October 10th, 2001 Ottawa City Council y adopted a recommendation which directed city staff to prepare a pesticide reduction strategy which will consist of the timing and nature of a draft strategy governing the cosmetic use of pesticides on urban private property, the initiation of a public consultation process, a public health campaign, and a 2002 budget estimate.  In March 2002, Council approved funds for a public education campaign.

No restrictions

Policy of not using pesticides, with special exceptions

n/a

Web site, info kits, brochures, lawn signs, phone -line

Winnipeg, MB

671,000

4151.48

The City of Winnipeg will consider a range of options  when it considers the mayor's municipal environmental strategy.

No restrictions

IPM

 

 

Dundas / Hamilton, ON

662,000

1371.76

Dundas introduced by-laws to severely restrict or ban pesticide use on municipal property (this by-law is still in effect within what was Dundas until the new City of Hamilton develops a city-wide policy). Councillors recently rejected a city-proposed Integrated Plant Health Program (IPHP) because of its nearly $500,000 price tag.

No restrictions

By-laws restrict use on public property in former Dundas

n/a

A city committee report will be presented to council in 2003 describing public education options.

Mississaugua, ON

613,000

288.42

The City has adopted a practice that neighbourhood and general park areas not be sprayed with pesticides

No restrictions

Policy of not using pesticides, with special exceptions

n/a

 

London, ON

432,000

2333.37

City Council on December 3rd, 2001 resolved that a strategy be developed to phase out the non-essential uses of pesticides in London.  A task force on Integrated Pest Management Implementation will be established to study the issue and to develop an IPM Community Plan, including a communications program to inform Londoners about pesticide use.   In addition, the City will monitor the status and progress of legal aspects related to non-essential use of pesticides.

No restrictions

IPM

n/a

Developing an IPM Community Plan

Kitchener, ON

414,284

826.98

Passed a policy aimed at eliminating pesticide use in city parks. The policy commits the city to working towards a zero per cent target.

No restrictions

Pesticide reduction policy

n/a

 

Halifax, NS

360, 000

5495.54

In 2000, year 1of by-law phase-in, pesticides banned on municipal property and education programs begin.  As of April 1 2001, It is illegal to use pesticides within 50 metres of registered private properties, as well as any school, licensed day care, park, playground, licensed senior citizens' residence, university, church or hospital.  As of April 1, 2003, a general ban on the use of pesticides will apply to all properties affected by the by-law.  Applies to residential and municipal properties only.  Does not apply to commercial or institutional properties.  A list of permissible pesticide products has been created.  

By-law restricts use of pesticides

By-law restricts use of pesticides

Enforced on a complaints basis, with fines ranging from $100.00 to a maximum of $2000.00 or 30 days in jail 

began in Year 1 of phase-in

Windsor, ON

307,877

1022.53

Windsor City Council has established the Best Management Practices Committee to assist Parks & Rec in implementing an aggressive reduction program in the use of chemical pesticides for non-essential and cosmetic purposes, on municipally owned properties. C.A.L.M - Clear Altenatives for Landscape Management is is a task force created by the Best Management Practices Committee.

No restrictions

Plant Health Care (PHC)

n/a

 

Victoria, BC

304,000

633.44

A draft by-law is being developed by Victoria's regional government which restricts the use of pesticides. Because of its integrated pest management program, the city's preventive techniques have reduced pesticide use by 97 per cent.

No restrictions

IPM

n/a

 

Markham, ON

208,615

212.47

Pesticide Reduction Steering Committee will start a Pesticide-Free Parks Pilot Project in one city ward this spring.  The goal of the pilot project is eventual realization of a pesticide by-law.

No restrictions

 

n/a

Pesticide-Free Parks Pilot Project

Barrie, ON

149,000

897.46

In September 2001, Citizens Concerned About Pesticides made a presentation to the Barrie City Council requesting a by-law to restrict the cosmetic use of pesticides on lawns and gardens on public and private lands. A copy of the suggested by-law was presented.  In December 2001 City Council asked for a third party to review the relevant information and make recommendations in 2002.

No restrictions

IPM

n/a

An education program regarding the dangers of pesticide use on lawns and gardens, and alternative methods of lawn and garden management has been presented to Council

 Kingston, ON

147,000

1906.82

 Report on possible options under consideration, no date set.

No restrictions

Banned use of a group of pesticides, known as chlorpyrifos, on municipal property

 

 

Oakville, ON

145,000

138.51

The region of Halton has begun holding stakeholder consultations regarding restricting cosmetic pesticide use on public and residential properties.  Oakville has greatly reduced the use of pesticides on municipally-owned lands.

No restrictions

Policy of not using pesticides, with special exceptions

n/a

 

St. Catharines, ON

129,000

97.11

The City of St.Catharines is allowing the Parks and Recreation department to phase out the use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers over the next three years. A ban on their use on private property may follow; council has asked staff for a report on possibly imposing such a restriction.

No restrictions

Policy of not using pesticides, with special exceptions

n/a

 

Guelph, ON

117,344

378.45

In the year 2000 Guelph City Council adopted a five year phase out of pesticides on publicly owned lands.  The city is currently working on a public process to look at pesticide reductions on all lands within the city

No restrictions

IPM

n/a

 

Cambridge, ON

110,000

112.82

Adopted a formal program which is directed at reducing the use of pesticides in the community. City has designated a pesticide-free zone of 200 diameters around play equipment

No restrictions

IPM

n/a

 

Peterborough, ON

102,000

1199.75

The City of Peterborough has convened a committee of citizen, council and industry representatives to develop a strategy for the reduction of cosmetic pesticide use on public and private property.  The committee will likely present a formal strategy to reduce pesticide use on public property by spring.

No restrictions

 

n/a

 

Sarnia, ON

88,000

799.75

Because the issue that has brought a significant number of complaints and concerns annually to the City of Sarnia and to Mayor Bradley's office, Sarnia City Council asked the Environmental Committee to make this issue a priority for 2001 in their work plan and to report back at year's end with any changes to be implemented in the year 2002.

No restrictions

Integrated Plant

Health Care

(IPHC)

n/a

 

Belleville, ON

87,000

740.94

The City of Belleville has launched a pilot program at Parkdale Park where no pesticides will be applied this year to measure the difference with and without the chemical treatment used traditionally in other parks to keep weeds at bay.

No restrictions

pesticide-free pilot program

n/a

 

Waterloo, ON

87,000

64.09

Had a goal of 0% pesticide use by the year 2000. The City passed a motion for changes to the Ontario Municipal Act to give municipalities the power to regulate pesticides and other toxic chemicals. (Kitchener-Waterloo Record, Oct. 18, 2000)  The Regional Municipality of Waterloo will co-ordinate the issue of pesticide use, co-ordinated by the Health Dept., with a staff rep from each of the 7 participating municipalities.

No restrictions

Plant Health Care (PHC)

n/a

 

North Vancouver, BC

82,000

160.47

By-law (Municipal Land) - As of Jan 3, 2002 considering extending it to private land

No restrictions

by-laws restrict use on public property

 

 

Caledon, ON

51,000

687.04

The Caledon Town Council has acknowledged that the risks associated with the use of chemical pesticides is a concern to many residents of Caledon.   A new strategy is presently being developed for private property.

No restrictions

Town council has banned pesticides on public lands

 

In year 2000, Town Council declared a one-week moratorium on cosmetic pesticides

Owen Sound, ON

31,583

627.30

On February 4th, 2002, the City Council passed a motion supporting by-law consultation, in association with the Association of Ontario Municipalities.

No restrictions

 

n/a

 

Stratford, ON

30,000

21.92

Stratford City Council established a Pesticide-Use committee with a 3-year term (currently in it's 2nd year) to provide recommendations on how the city can reduce the amount of pesticides it uses on public lands by 50% by 2003.    The Energy and Environment Standing Committee has set up a committee to make recommendations about a by-law to restrict cosmetic use on residential property.

No restrictions

 

n/a

 

La Salle, ON

25,285

65.25

Banned chemical pesticides on all municipal property, including parkland. (Windsor Star, Aug. 24, 2000)

No restrictions

Ban on use of chemical pesticides

 

 

Port Moody, BC

23,816

25.62

Port Moody City Council has voted to begin a 3 year education campaign to teach residents about the risks of pesticide use and possible alternatives.  After 3 years, a by-law will be drafted to prohibit so-called cosmetic pesticide use.

No restrictions

IPM

n/a

3 year campaign about the risks of pesticide use and possible alternatives

Stoufville, ON

22,000

206.74

Council has banned blanket spraying of pesticides on public parks, but still spot sprays.  Sub-committee has been created to discuss strategies to phase out the cosmetic use of pesticides.

No restrictions

Ban on spraying in public parks

 

 

Westmount, PQ

20,000

4.02

Pesticides banned outright from June through September. In the winter months, a permit is granted only for extreme infestations following an inspection.

pesticides banned in summer except for protecting human health - permit needed at all other times

pesticides banned in summer except for protecting human health - permit needed at all other times

Enforced on a complaints basis - fines range from $100 to $4,000

Public workshops, pamphlets and Pesticide Advisory Committee

Beaconsfield, PQ

19,400

10.64

Beaconsfield's by-law requires permits for all applications of pesticides. Prohibited in the case of wind, lack of rain, temperature, protection zones.  Warning signs must be posted for 72 hours.

By-law restricts use of pesticides

By-law restricts use of pesticides

Enforced on a complaints basis - fines from $100 to $4,000

 

Mont-Royal, PQ

18,300

7.43

By-law prohibits spraying of lawns and gardens, except in the case of an infestation that threatens health, property.  Permits are required yet there are prohibitions for wind, time-of-day, size of tree, etc.  Signage required

By-law restricts use of pesticides

By-law restricts use of pesticides

Enforced on a complaints basis - fines from $150 to $4,000

 

Russell Township, ON

12,000

198.96

Has passed a by-law banning cosmetic use of pesticides from public lands.

No restrictions

By-law restricts use of pesticides

 

volunteers have been distributing pesticide-free lawn signs

Chelsea, PQ

6,000

110.95

With the exception of "permitted pesticides" the by-law regulates the use of pesticides on both private and public property in the municipality.  Permits may be granted in exceptional cases. Golf courses exempted for 5 years with certain provisions.

By-law restricts use of pesticides

By-law restricts use of pesticides

Enforced on a complaints basis - fines from $100 to $4,000

 

Roxboro, PQ

5,600

2.22

Except for specific exemptions relating to infestations and human health, (where permits must be obtained), the application and use of a pesticide is prohibited throughout the territory of Roxboro.

By-law restricts use of pesticides

By-law restricts use of pesticides

Enforced on a complaints basis - fines from $300 to $4,000

 

Gananoque, ON

5,200

9.01

In 1998 the Town adopted a by-law banning the cosmetic use of pesticides on public property.

No restrictions

By-law restricts use of pesticides

maximum fine of $5,000

 

Shediac, NB

4,900

11.97

As of January 1, 2003, the spreading and use of pesticides is prohibited throughout the territory within the jurisdiction of the municipality.  Golf course has 5 year grace period.  List of permitted pesticides has been developed.

By-law restricts use of pesticides

By-law restricts use of pesticides

Will be enforced on a complaints basis

planned, not yet developed

Hudson, PQ

4,800

21.75

Hudson's by-law requires residents to seek a permit when applying a pesticide for conditions such as human health and insect infestations.

By-law restricts use of pesticides

By-law restricts use of pesticides

Enforced on a complaints basis

 

Cobalt, ON

1,200

2.11

The spreading and use of a pesticide is prohibited throughout the territory of the municipality beginning Nov 1, 2002.  Certain exemptions exist.  Farmers asked to register use of pesticides for agricultural purposes.

By-law restricts use of pesticides

By-law restricts use of pesticides

Fines of not more than $10,000

planned, not yet developed

 

 


Document 7 – Environmental Effects of Pesticides

 

From an environmental perspective, although some pesticides are species-specific, there are others that do not differentiate between pests and beneficial organisms. Pesticides can harm non-targeted species such as bees, birds, soil and aquatic organisms. Once applied to a lawn or garden, a pesticide may migrate or be dispersed into the air, soil, and water.   The degree of movement will depend upon both chemical and physical characteristics of the pesticide (for example, volatility, persistence and solubility) and the climatic conditions such as wind speed at the time of application, soil moisture content, application method and the degree of wind, heat and rainfall/moisture that follows application. While the quantities may be minute, there are no definitive studies on long-term cumulative effects of low-level exposure of lawn and garden pesticides on the environment.  In addition, how readily a pesticide will move off-site depends upon the chemical and physical characteristics of the pesticide itself.

 

A review of available information, focusing on recent significant literatures formed the basis for the following summary on the environmental effects from lawn and garden pesticides. 

 

Two significant literature reviews conducted recently by Toronto Public Health[15] and the Standing Committee on Environment & Sustainable Development[16] noted that pesticides used for lawn and garden care have been found to move from where they are applied to surrounding air, water or soil.  Movement may occur as vapour, particles or droplets through the air, with water movement through the soil, attached to soil or dust particles, or in surface water runoff during rain events[17],[18],[19].  The amount of movement is expected to vary, depending upon climatic conditions at the time and the characteristics of the pesticides.  For example, the Standing Committee review noted that in 1998, researchers in Alberta had detected 2,4-D in rainfall, even though 2,4-D breaks down quickly when in contact with oxygen.  The researchers expect that the product was carried through water vapour as water evaporated from the soil, condensed in clouds and fell as rain.  It was noted that this phenomena is likely specific to the combination of Lethbridge’s arid climate and high 2,4-D use for growing of grain.

 

Both the Toronto Public Health and the Standing Committee reviews referred to a 1998 Environment Canada study on pesticides within the urban environment.  Water sampling in two Toronto-area streams and three stormwater holding ponds in Guelph often detected the herbicides 2,4-D and MCPP and the insecticides diazinon and chlorpyrifos    after rainfall events.  Similar findings have been noted in the United States.  For example, the National Water Quality Assessment Program[20] conducted sampling for pesticide residues after rainfall events at various sites within 10 urban/suburban watersheds in 1997 in King County, Washington.  More than 60% of the sites produced samples that contained pesticide residues for the herbicides 2,4-D, MCPP, and MCPA and for the insecticides diazinon and carbaryl. 


The study found a positive correlation between pesticide detection and retail sales for 2,4-D, MCPP and diazinon – these products had the highest retail sales at local home and garden stores and were detected at 100% of the sampling sites after rainfall events.  In both Canada and the U.S., pesticide residues in surface waters are sometimes found to exceed water quality standards for the protection of aquatic life.

 

Overall, however, little information is available regarding the levels of pesticides within our water sources, either ground or surface water.  Regular testing of water for pesticide residues is not routine for any of the levels of government in Canada.  In 2001, the National Water Research Institute of Environment Canada[21] recommended that the federal government invest in targeted monitoring of pesticide residues in water, sediment and biota (plant and animal life) to determine trends, assess hazards and take action.  They also recommended coordination on monitoring pesticide levels in the ecosystem by the various levels of government.

 

All of the information sources cited above as well as others note that although individual pesticides can be detected within our urban and water environments, the effects on the ecosystem are difficult to describe.  Toxicity testing of individual active ingredients is used to determine the concentration that will trigger a chronic or acute effect.  Application rates for use are then designed so as not to exceed these concentrations in the environment.  It should be noted, however, that some of the common lawn and garden pesticides in use are toxic to other organisms beyond the target species for which they were designed.  For example, the insecticide carbaryl is noted to be lethal to beneficial insects such as bees and moderately toxic to aquatic life.  Diazinon is also highly toxic to bees, birds, mammals, fish and aquatic invertebrates.  The herbicides 2,4-D and MCPA range from slight to moderate toxicity to birds and aquatic species while mecoprop is noted as virtually non-toxic to birds, bees or aquatic life.[22]

 

As with human health effects, data does not exist on the synergistic effects of various pesticides or other compounds within the environment and how these combinations may impact the health of individual species or the functioning of an ecosystem community.  Many researchers call for more study as well as for a reduction in the numbers of compounds that we emit and the reduction or elimination of the more toxic compounds in use.  The latter is suggested as a more practical approach due to the increasing number of compounds emitted to the environment.  In other words, it is likely an almost impossible task to adequately assess the interactions of the various compounds in use for their impact upon the wide variety of species within our environment.

 


Document 8 – Pesticides and Health

 

A growing number of scientific studies point to serious health risks associated with the use of pesticides.  Nevertheless, the evidence is not definitive because not all studies reach the same conclusions. Researching the long-term effects of exposure to pesticides is a difficult task because illnesses can occur years after the exposure, and there are many environmental toxins to which people are exposed during their lives. For these reasons, researchers talk about ‘links’ and ‘associations’ with regard to pesticides rather than causes. Certain questions need to be asked to determine the risk to a particular individual. Is the exposure happening at a vulnerable stage of physical development, such as during pregnancy or childhood? Is a mixture of pesticides being used, which may increase the total toxicity? Does the exposed person have a genetic make-up that makes him or her more susceptible to environmental hazards?

 

Pesticides are poisons designed to kill living things, and humans share common systems with the targeted species. The risk depends on a number of factors - the dose of the chemical, the size of the person exposed, and the stage of growth during exposure.  When making decisions about the risks of exposure to pesticides, it is important to take into account a wide range of studies, including toxicology studies, workers’ and farmers’ studies, and studies of people with various diseases. Farmers’ studies are relevant in the discussion of lawn use because many pesticides are used both on farms and in residential areas (i.e. 2,4-D, dicamba, glyphosate, carbaryl). There is not one study that will give the answer; rather, the research in its entirety must be examined to make a judgment on how best to proceed.     

 

A 2002 Toronto Public Health report, “Lawn and Garden Pesticides: A Review of Human Exposure and Health Effects Research,” fully reviewed the subject and highlighted three types of health problems linked to the use of pesticides. [23] These include some cancers  (such as leukemias and lymphomas), reproductive effects (i.e. fertility problems, birth defects, adverse pregnancy outcomes) and neurological effects (such as Parkinson’s disease). The report states that all the potential risks posed by pesticides – particularly hormonal changes and effects on the immune system - cannot be fully predicted by the current ways of measuring risks.  The health effects and potential risks from exposure to pesticides may never be completely understood, the report says, and concludes: “a precautionary approach concerning residential-use pesticides is prudent and advisable.” 

 

Some argue that the Precautionary Principle is meant to be applied to substances or situations that present a risk of irreversible damage that is global in its magnitude. However, to those in the public health field, the Precautionary Principle builds upon the concept of “prudent avoidance” that has traditionally intended to ensure that

“preventative actions is taken in advance of scientific proof in situations where further delay could prove costly to society or nature and/or unfair to future to generations”[24].


 

Health organizations are also urging prudent avoidance. The Canadian Public Health Association in 2002 passed a resolution stating there is sufficient suggestive evidence of health and environmental threats from pesticide use to warrant actions to protect the public, and given this information, “there is an important role for public health organizations in advocating for restrictions to the non-essential use of pesticides.”[25]  A recent continuing education article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal instructs doctors to “practise precautionary medicine by recognizing groups of patients at increased risk of health effects from pesticide exposure.” The article goes on to tell doctors to advise parents to avoid cosmetic spraying of lawns and gardens. [26]

 

Particularly worrisome are the potential effects of pesticide exposure on children.  The rapid growth and critical developmental changes happening in the brain of the fetus and young infant make them more vulnerable to environmental contaminants.  Children are different from adults in the way they cope with toxins. [27] The blood-brain barrier, which prevents harmful substances from reaching brain tissue, becomes fully effective at about age six months. The liver and kidneys, which help remove poisons from the body, are immature at birth.  Children also breathe faster and take in more air because of their increased metabolic rate. An infant’s ratio of surface area to body mass is three times greater than that of an adult, meaning the opportunity for absorption through the skin is increased. In effect, the total amount of exposure to environmental toxins (the ‘dose’) may be less important the time period when the exposure takes place.[28]  Children’s exploratory activities and their diminished perception of risk may also be placing them in harm’s way.  Children put things in their mouths, crawl on the grass, and don’t usually heed warning signs. Moreover, outdoor pesticides can be tracked inside a home and persist there, increasing exposure. 

 

The largest Canadian case-control study of the risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with exposure to pesticides used in and around the home was conducted by researchers at McGill University and the Université de Montréal. They found that the risk of the disease was higher with increased use of herbicides, plant insecticides, and products for trees, either during pregnancy or childhood. Risks were higher with more frequent use[29].  The childhood cancer neuroblastoma has also been linked to the use of pesticides[30].  Interestingly, a study reviewing a number of articles on pesticides and child cancer published between 1970 and 1996 says the risk estimates appeared to be stronger in the studies measuring pesticide exposure in more detail[31]. 


Another review article states that many of the reported increased risks are greater for exposed children than for exposed adults, suggesting children may be especially sensitive to the cancer-causing effects of pesticides[32]. 

 

Poor pregnancy outcomes are also associated with a mother’s or father’s exposure to pesticides (including exposure within several months before the baby is conceived). A Health Canada study of Ontario farm women found increased risks of miscarriage associated with exposures to certain pesticides including phenoxy acetic acid herbicides[33].  In other research, a man’s exposure to pesticides lessened the chances of a couple’s success with in-vitro fertilization[34].  A study done at the University of Minnesota found changed luteinizing hormone levels in male forest pesticide applicators after 2,4-D spraying, which points to an endocrine disruption[35].  Minnesota scientists also noted a significantly greater risk of birth defects in children born to people living in geographical areas where exposure to phenoxy acetic acid herbicides (mainly 2,4-D, also MCPA) and fungicides was highest. Indeed, the rates of birth defects were higher among infants conceived in the spring, the season of the highest pesticide use[36]. 

 

There is little doubt that exposure to pesticides is widespread.  Two separate studies of children in Minnesota and Washington State detected breakdown products of some organophosphate pesticides in the urine of most children[37][38]  Organophosphates were also found in the meconium (first stool) of almost all newborns tested in one study [39], and 2,4-D was detected in the semen of half of roughly 100 Ontario farmers who had recently used the pesticide[40].  In one toxicity study, 6 of 37 children treated for organophosphate or carbamate pesticide poisoning had been exposed through their skin after a home extermination or in one case, lawn spraying. (The rest drank or ate the pesticides)[41].  


 

The evidence of adult cancers related to pesticides is more difficult to interpret, but nevertheless worrisome.  A 1999 Florida study found significant increases in testicular cancer, prostate cancer, and cervical cancer in licensed pesticide applicators, but contrary to other published research, no increased risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma[42].  On the other hand, a Canadian study found an increased risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma risk among exposures such as dicamba, mecoprop, carbamate and organophosphorus insecticides[43].  Given that most lawn pesticides applicators are younger men, the data on testicular cancer are of concern. The National Cancer Institute of Canada reports the rates for testis cancer have increased significantly among young men aged 20-44 over the past several decades at a rate of 1.7% per year[44].  According to a document of the Ontario Cancer Registry of Cancer Care Ontario, it is of interest that regions of Ontario with the higher rates of testicular cancer tend to be those with the most agricultural activity, and, in fact, prenatal or early life factors may somehow contribute to the trend[45].  While there is strong public perception of a link between pesticides and breast cancer, studies are mixed on this issue and a better understanding is needed.                

 

As the research on pesticides becomes more detailed, new health risks are noted.  For example, mild cognitive dysfunction (a problem with higher brain functioning) was found to be nearly five times higher in individuals who were exposed to pesticides. The same study did not find an association between mild cognitive dysfunction and exposure to other toxic chemicals such as organic solvents and metals[46].  A number of studies have suggested an association between pesticides exposure and Parkinson’s disease, and scientists have discovered that people with a certain genetic make-up are more likely to get Parkinson’s disease after exposure to pesticides[47].     

 

The history of the use of pesticides has not helped allay fears about the chemicals. DDT, now recognized as one of Earth’s most toxic substances, was once deemed safe.  The federal government’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is gradually phasing out the organophosphate insecticides due to serious human health concerns (particularly nerve damage).  The lawn herbicide 2,4-D is now under re-evaluation by the federal PMRA, as are selected carbamate insecticides such as carbaryl, which kills grubs.  Much of the testing of pesticides reviewed by the federal regulator occurred before more stringent procedures were in place to take into account the vulnerabilities of children.  Because hundreds of pesticides have been approved, re-assessments are slow.  In real life, people are exposed to a number of pesticides over many years.


The PMRA, however, bases its regulations on testing chemicals in isolation.  “It is not feasible to predict the toxicity of pesticide mixtures on the basis of the results of the toxicity of single components,” concluded one important toxicology study, explaining that mixtures of pesticides were found to be more toxic to cells than the single compounds, and in certain cases the effect was synergistic (meaning the effect of the mixture was more than the sum of the effects of the individual chemicals)[48].  In addition, pesticide products contain many so-called ‘inert’ ingredients that may be toxic, but the industry is not required to share information about these substances to the public because such data are considered proprietary.  

 

The continuing degradation of the environment is in itself a long-term health risk, as humans are dependent for survival on clean water, clean air, and an ecological interaction with other species such as earthworms, which aerate the soil, and bees, which pollinate crops.  Humans are beginning to accept the fact that their health is dependent on a balanced relationship with the surrounding environment.  What we do to the air, the water, and the land, we also do to ourselves. While we cannot, (and should not) try to rid our environment of all pesticides, we can do what is possible and reasonable by   drastically reducing or eliminating aesthetic use, especially since alternatives exist. Lastly, it is important to note that agricultural uses are not considered aesthetic, and there may be occasions when pesticides are needed as a last resort to control the spread of diseases such as the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus. 

 


Document 9

 

EnviroCentre’s Lawn (+ Child) Care Research

An evaluation of the effectiveness of community-based social marketing to reduce the use of chemical pesticides for cosmetic purposes on private property

 

December 16, 2002

 

 

Executive Summary

 

During the summer of 2002, the City of Ottawa investigated ways to help local residents appreciate the importance of reducing the use of chemical pesticides for cosmetic purposes on private property. One approach was a public education campaign entitled “This is a Beautiful Lawn”, which promoted the positive aspects of natural lawn and garden care through various media, including billboards, newspaper ads, press releases and an official launch at City Hall.

 

The City also contracted with EnviroCentre to conduct a pilot project to test the effectiveness of community based social marketing (CBSM) to change both attitudes and behaviour in this field. As part of this research project, three sample groups were surveyed by the Carleton University Survey Centre to determine if these techniques, which have been shown to elicit greater and more sustainable changes in both attitudes and behaviour than conventional marketing for socially desirable goals, would be a cost-effective tool for the City to use in the future.[49]

 

A Control Group, isolated by the City’s Geographic Information System, consisted of residents from all eleven areas of the City covered by the project who had not been contacted in any way by EnviroCentre. It was designed to provide baseline data on the attitudes and behaviour of residents who had simply been exposed to the City’s media campaign.

 

The Mail Group consisted of over 5,000 Ottawa residents in eleven different neighbourhoods near parks, schools, playgrounds, and community centres. They were bulk-mailed a City of Ottawa envelope containing a cover letter from EnviroCentre, a City of Ottawa pesticide alternatives poster for their window, and a fact sheet on alternatives to chemical pesticides.

 

The Intervention Group consisted of about 10% of the Mail Group (509 people) who were subsequently visited by EnviroCentre summer students. They used CBSM techniques to elicit various levels of commitments, from easy ones like getting householders to agree to read the information package, to more difficult ones, like getting them to agree to put up a window or lawn sign.

 

Although some reservations were expressed about the statistical significance of the data given the relatively small samples involved, the results showed that 35% of those who received the CBSM agreed that it influenced their decision to reduce their use of chemical pesticides for cosmetic purposes on their lawns.

 

Furthermore, those in the Intervention or CBSM Group were also:

 

 

It is also worth noting that fully 90% of those surveyed who received a package in the mail found the information to be either “somewhat informative” or “very informative”; 45% displayed the alternatives to pesticides poster in their window; and 89% of those who received the CBSM intervention found it to be “informative”.

 

The results of EnviroCentre’s research show a significant shift toward the desired change. It is important to note that the changes were not only in attitude but in the actual behaviour of people exposed to CBSM.[50]

                                                       

If this approach were to be implemented on an operational scale, it would cost about $1 per household to deliver a package of less than 30 grams through bulk mail. If summer students were used for the CBSM visits, or these visits were combined with others promoting water or energy conservation, the additional cost for the CBSM intervention would be about $1 per household. 

 

By focusing on those areas more likely to be using chemical pesticides (primarily low-density housing with lawns and gardens) and households with more favourable demographics (younger families in newer neighbourhoods), the estimated number of households to be targeted would be about 100,000.


Document 10 - Pesticide Use and Attitude Survey  - April 2002

 

Executive Summary

Issue Awareness

Pesticide use is not a top of mind issue for most City residents, although a significant proportion report having heard or seen something recently about discussions on reducing pesticide use on lawns and gardens.  Only about one area resident in twenty, however, identified pesticide/herbicide use as the most important environmental issue currently facing the region.

 

Pesticide Use

Eight in ten City residents have a lawn or garden and half of this group (48%) currently use chemical pesticides.  This group is evenly divided between those who acknowledge this use directly, and those who initially indicated that they do not use pesticides but at the same time reported using products on their lawn or garden which contain chemical pesticides.  It is not clear if this unacknowledged use reflects a desire to respond in the socially acceptable way, or a lack of awareness about the product in question.

 

Chemical pesticide use is associated with residents’ views on the hazard they pose (users are less likely to see them as hazardous), the importance accorded to a weed free lawn appearance (increasing likelihood of pesticide use the greater the importance), whether or not residents hire a service to do lawn or garden maintenance (those who use a service are more apt to have chemicals used), and the age of the resident (usage being highest among those aged 55 and older).  Appearance is also the main reason that users give for choosing chemical pesticides.

 

Hazards of Pesticide Use

Three-quarters of City residents consider chemical pesticides to be at least a moderate, if not a significant, hazard and people are most concerned about the effects of their use on children, pets, water quality, and area wildlife.  Residents are also most concerned about the use of chemical pesticides on properties in close proximity to their own homes.

 

Women express the most concern about the various hazards posed by chemical pesticides, while residents aged 55 and older are the least concerned group.  Rural residents expressed the most concern about the effects of chemical pesticides on water quality.

 

Non-Chemical Alternatives

A variety of non-chemical lawn and garden care techniques are currently used by area residents, most notably hand-weeding, composting, and aeration.  About half of local residents, moreover, claim some familiarity with non-chemical approaches to lawn or garden care, but this group is divided over the effectiveness of these methods in relation to chemical methods.  Residents currently using chemical pesticides on their lawn or garden are the most skeptical about the effectiveness of alternatives.

 

More than half of chemical pesticide users, however, expressed some interest in trying non-chemical methods to treat their lawn or garden, and most of this group say they would be willing to pay an additional ten percent for this approach.

 

Conclusions

Overall, the results of this survey indicate that there is already a solid foundation of public awareness on which to build a new education campaign in the City of Ottawa.  There is public awareness around the issue of pesticide use and the current discussions about a reduction strategy.  Many area residents also recognize the hazards associated with chemical pesticide use.  Moreover, there is some experience and familiarity with certain non-chemical methods, and many residents demonstrate an openness to alternative approaches.

 

At the same time, there are clear obstacles to achieving the City’s goal of reducing the use of chemical pesticides on private property.  First, many residents consider a weed-free lawn appearance to be very important.  Second, the survey reveals a good deal of uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of non-chemical alternatives.  Third, it appears that cost will be an issue, given that interest in trying alternative approaches drops off sharply when the cost differential exceeds ten percent.

 

Thus, the survey points to a need for both awareness-building and educational programming.  There is a need to raise awareness in some segments concerning the potential hazards – to children, pets, and the environment in general – of chemical pesticide use.

 

There is also the need to provide educational programming about the alternatives to chemical methods, for those who have accepted the need to change but require information about precisely how to maintain a lawn or garden without using chemical pesticides.

 

Finally, the results point to the need for a longer-term strategy addressing residents’ conception of what is a healthy and attractive lawn.

 

 


Document 11-Pesticide Reduction Campaign: Research Results Summary

 

 

 

Executive Summary:

 

The findings of a research study conducted in September 2002 indicate that the City’s public education campaign regarding the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes on residential properties was very effective.

 

Awareness of the issue has grown, and there has been a major shift from a general awareness of a controversy to a more specific understanding of the issues.

Overall recall of the campaign and specific recall of messages are very positive considering the short duration and limited placement of advertising for this campaign.

Recall of the main messages of the campaign was focussed on a few key areas of health, environment, alternatives, and a reduction of use.

43% of those recalling the campaign said they were prompted to think about their use of pesticides.

 

 

Background:

Decima conducted a research study to measure the effectiveness of the City’s public education campaign September 11-18, 2002 by way of a series of questions on the Ottawa Market Pulse omnibus survey, with a representative sample of 403 city residents. (Margin of error 5%, 19 times out of 20.)

A benchmark research study on usage and attitudes regarding pesticides was conducted April 2-10, 2002 with a representative sample of 604 City of Ottawa residents. (Margin of error 4%, 19 times out of 20.)

 

 

General awareness of the issue of pesticide use:

Do you recall seeing or hearing anything recently about the issue of pesticide use on lawns or gardens?

(N = 403, all residents)

 

80% of all residents said, “Yes”. 85.5% of those with a lawn recall seeing or hearing something.

This figure was higher in the West of the city, among the older age groups (aged over 35), higher income, English home language, and those with higher education.

Awareness of the issue has grown, since in the April survey 64% said, “Yes” to the same question. Much of this awareness of the issue is based on news coverage, editorials, letters to the editor, etc.

 


What is recalled:

(IF YES) What do you recall?

(N = 321, those who recall seeing or hearing something.)

 

Apr    Sep

14       27         Pesticides harmful to humans/animals

49       21         Controversy about use of/banning pesticides

  9       20         Consideration to banning pesticides in public areas

  6       16         Pesticides harmful to the environment

  7       13         Consideration to banning pesticides in residential areas

  -         8          City public education campaign/ads about pesticides

  -         7          Banning pesticides

25         6         Heard on radio/TV/saw in newspaper  

 

Between April and September there has been a major shift from a general awareness of a controversy surrounding pesticide use to as more specific understanding of the issues that are connected to their use. This is a clear step forward and demonstrates the effectiveness of the public education campaign.

 

 

Recall of City’s public education campaign:

Do you recall seeing or hearing anything in the past few months about a City of Ottawa public education campaign about the use of pesticides on lawns and gardens?

(N = 403)

 

39% replied, “Yes”.

General awareness of the City’s campaign increases with age 18-34: 25%, 35-44: 41%, 45-54: 42%, and 55+: 49%.

General awareness was greater among English (44%) than French (29%).

Overall recall of the campaign and specific recall of messages, as seen in later questions, are very positive considering the short duration and limited placement of advertising for this campaign.

 

 

Where seen / heard:

Where do you recall seeing or hearing something? Unprompted

(N = 156, those who recall seeing or hearing something.)

 

%

62        Newspaper  (higher in the 45-54 and 55+ age groups)

33                Radio           (higher in the three older age groups i.e. those 35+)

31                Television    (higher in the 55+ age group)

  8        Bus boards    (higher among those aged 18-34, and those who are employed)

Caution: it is normal to see an over claim with regard to mass media, though also news and editorial coverage probably influence these numbers.


What is recalled from City campaign:

(IF YES) What specifically do you recall about it?

(N = 156, those who recall seeing or hearing something.)

 

%

25        limit/ban pesticide use

19        public education/other alternatives/information

15        health issues/allergies/harmful effects

10        controversy/some people against banning

9                  pesticides banned in city parks/city property

6                  encouraging people not to use pesticides

5                  environmental factors

5                  pesticides are not good

 

Responses to this question were fairly generic, whereas the next question drew out more specifics of the campaign.

 

 

Main message in the campaign:

From what you remember seeing or hearing, what was the main message being presented in the campaign?

(N = 133, those who specifically recall something.)

 

%

33        Health issues/Allergies/Harmful effects   (almost all were English home language)

32        Limit/Ban pesticide use

20        Public education/Other alternatives/Information

16        Environmental factors

 

Nothing else received more than a 2% mention. This indicates that the campaign was focussed in its messaging.

No French-speaking respondent mentioned health issues as a first mention compared to 39% of English respondents. Those with French as their home language were more likely to mention “Public education/Other alternatives /Information.”

 

 

Has campaign prompted you to think about use of pesticides:

Has this campaign prompted you to think any further about the use of pesticides on lawns and gardens?

(N = 156, those who recall seeing or hearing something.)

 

43% replied, “Yes”. This is a clear indicator of the success of the education campaign as the goal of the campaign was to raise awareness of the issues surrounding pesticide use and to encourage people to explore alternatives.

This proportion decreases as age increases (18-34: 56%, 35-44: 44%, 45-54: 43%, 55+: 35%). The percentage (of people prompted to think further) increases with education.


In what way:

(IF YES) In what way specifically has this campaign prompted you to think more about the use of pesticides on lawns?

(N = 67, those who have been prompted by the campaign to think further about the use of pesticides.)

 

%

34        using less/eliminating pesticides on my property

25        think more seriously about alternatives

18        think more seriously about risks of pesticides

10        pay more attention to the issue

15        interest/need to get more information/become informed

 

Again the responses to this question are a strong indication that the campaign has succeeded in encouraging people who use pesticides to explore other options.

 

Usage of pesticides:

Do you or others in your household currently use chemical pesticides on your lawn or garden, to control weeds or insects or otherwise improve its appearance?

(N = 332, those living in a single family dwelling, town home, farm, or rural lot and whose property includes a lawn or garden.)

 

35% of those with a lawn or garden said, “Yes”. These respondents were more likely to be older (all groups aged 35+), higher income, and higher education. It should be noted that there is a correlation between these demographics and home ownership.

 

Interest in trying an approach without using pesticides:

How interested would you be in trying an approach to maintaining your lawn or garden without using pesticides?

(N = 115, those who currently use pesticides on lawn or garden.)

 

Apr      Sep

27        29       Very interested

30        36       Somewhat interested

21        14       Not very interested

16        16       Not at all interested      

  5           4       Depends

  1           3       Don’t know/no answer

 

These responses show a slight improvement in the top two boxes score (very and somewhat interested) from 57% in April to 65% in September


Document 12 - Options Considered For Long-Term Reduction Of Cosmetic Pesticide Use On Private Property

– Fall 2002 Public Consultation

 

Option 1. Continue the present public education and awareness campaign on reducing pesticides use and promoting the use of alternative pest control methods for lawn and garden care, at the existing level. 

 

Ø      City website maintained and revised as required

Ø      Pesticide telephone information line maintained and staffed

Ø      Information and promotional material based on 2002 prepared material be continued to be revised, produced and distributed

o       Brochures

o       Fact sheets

o       Posters

o       Lawn signs

Ø      Public service announcements

Ø      Posters on city vehicles

Ø      Limited paid advertising

o       Bus boards

o       Hospital campus bike racks

o       Some daily and community newspapers paid advertising

Ø      Partnership with post-secondary education institution(s)

o       Identification of training needs of retailers of lawn care products

o       Promote alternatives to pesticides education to retail staff and customers

 

This option proposes a non-regulatory or voluntary approach to aid in achieving a reduction in pesticide use.  The approach would continue to use public education to increase public knowledge about alternative ways to maintain beautiful properties that require fewer, or no applications of pesticides. The benefits of this approach is that most of the materials have been prepared and it does not require much in the way of administration to continue this in 2003. The approach however would not compel people to change behaviour immediately but relies on long-term social attitudinal change to meet the goal of pesticides reduction.

 

Option 2. Expand the present public education and awareness campaign by incorporating a larger public/private outreach, including dedicated specialist staff.

 

Ø      All programs of option 1

Ø      Additional paid advertising in daily and community newspapers and radio promoting reduced pesticide use and alternatives

Ø      Prepare promotional/instructional video on alternative lawn, ornamental and tree care

Ø      Hire or contract for a horticultural specialist to

o       Be the corporate technical specialist

o       Provide advice to staff

o       Develop community outreach program on viable alternatives to pesticides

o       Liaise with lawn and garden industry to promote alternative methods

o       Work with city staff to develop and implement innovative, new practices for turf/green space design and management

Ø      Promote pesticide reduction program through participation in community-based and commercial horticultural/gardening/home improvement shows

Ø      Develop seminars on alternative lawn and green space care and pesticide reduction

o       To general public

o       To retailers – based on post secondary partnership initiative from option 1

 

This option is very similar to Option 1 since it is based on the same voluntary or non-regulatory approach. The advantages on this option over the first is that it is broader in its scope and would have the added feature of a dedicated staff specialist to provide a public/private outreach program. This option would, like Option 1, not compel people to alter their pesticide use. This option may garner the most general public acceptance since it is strictly voluntary on the part of private property owners.

 

Option 3. Option 1 or 2 PLUS a requirement for a commitment from industry for self-regulation through voluntary compliance to established standards such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM) accreditation.

 

Ø      All of the components of either option 1 or option 2

o       The city will require retailers and commercial horticulturalists to establish and conform to a self-regulatory process to attain accreditation through an IPM related program for individuals working in the industry

Ø      The MOE may be introducing a program for mandatory IPM accreditation for industry practitioners, including lawn and garden care providers

 

This option would see the City recognizing a commitment from industry for self-regulation (pesticide retailers, manufacturers and the horticultural trades) through compliance to the integrated pest management (IPM) accreditation process being initiated by the IPM Council of Ontario.

 

The IPM Council is in the process of developing an IPM accreditation process in an attempt to significantly reduce pesticide use among all sectors of the landscape industry by implementing the application of IPM and Plant Health Care (PHC) principles. It has established a governing body (PHC/IPM Council of Ontario) and is actively working towards implementation of a comprehensive accreditation process which includes education, examination, and auditing by a third party for individuals working in the industry. The IPM Council hopes to have the IPM Accreditation process developed for full implementation later this year.

 

This option would have the same benefits as Options 1 or 2 but may lead to a reduction in the use of pesticides sooner since Industry would itself encourage this change. This option is the same as the other voluntary options regarding the degree and speed of behavioral change in the use of pesticides.


 

Option 4. Enacting restrictive municipal regulations such as pesticides use reduction by-laws.  This could incorporate one or several of the following characteristics:

 

Ø      Setting clear rules and regulations about signage requirements preceding and following pesticide applications on private property by private citizens (similar to commercial applicators)

Ø      Require all licensed lawn care companies operating within the city of Ottawa to obtain industry administered IPM accreditation

Ø      Restrictions on the application of pesticides on private property by specifying buffer zones around:

o       Schools

o       Daycares

o       Hospitals

o       Waterways

o       Environmentally/chemically sensitive individuals

Ø      Overall prohibition on pesticide use on private property (residential, institutional, other non-City public agencies, commercial and industrial uses and utilities) with some limited exemptions in areas such as:

o       For health and safety

o       Interior of buildings

o       Agriculture and forestry

Ø      Specific exemptions for areas identified to be placed on a graduated phase-in timetable with requirements for developing a reduced pesticide use program:

o       Golf courses

o       Commercial lands

o       Industrial parks

Ø      Development of list of pest control products exempted from any potential by-laws and which could be used as pesticide alternatives

Ø      Development of alternative timetables for the implementation of specific pesticide reduction/prohibition by-laws

Ø      Any portion of this option would include option 2 since a bylaw would require a public education and outreach program about both the by-law as well as alternatives to pesticides, in order to encourage compliance


Document 13 – Focus Group Results of October, 2002

 

Public Consultation -Opinions expressed regarding the City’s pesticide reduction options

 

The purpose of the public consultation was to determine the public attitude, awareness and preference for how the City should effect longer-term reduction of cosmetic pesticide use on private property.

 

The consultation process included:

6.                  Seven (7) public meetings;

7.                  Two community meetings held at the request of local Councillors;

8.                  Four focus group sessions;

9.                  Stakeholder group meeting; and

10.              Written comments, received via e-mail and regular mail.

 

The seven (7) public meetings were distributed geographically across the City and occurred between October 9th and 17th , 2002,  to encourage and enable as many people from the community to attend as possible.  Additional meetings occurred in the Goulbourn and Rideau wards, at the request of the community.  Approximately 700 people these meetings and provided feedback on the four options (Document 12).  In general, responses were divided between those wishing to see more or continued education and promotion of alternatives to pesticides, and those who wished to see pesticide use controlled in some manner. 

 

It should be noted that many of the speakers in favour of some form of regulation also stressed that they did not favour a total ban.  Almost all the speakers, regardless of their preferred option, favoured an aggressive education campaign to promote the use of alternative pest management methods and the reduction in pesticide usage. 

 

The majority of participants signed in at the meetings.  A manual count of participants was also conducted at is believed to most accurately reflect the meeting attendance.

 

Table 1.  Attendance

 

Oct. 9

Oct. 10

Oct. 10a

Oct. 15

Oct. 16

Oct. 17

Oct. 17a

Oct. 23

Oct. 31

Total

Manual count

125

75

45

80

130

175

25

15

45

715

Sign-in sheets

76

43

39

59

112

166

21

11

32

559

 

People were invited to speak at the meetings to indicate their preference for one of the options, and to share their rationale for their choice(s).  In addition, comment sheets were distributed at the public meetings to allow participants to submit written comments.  Staff have also received written comments throughout 2002.  All comments received to date are compiled in Table 2.


 

Table 2.  Summary of Public Feedback on Pesticide Reduction Options

 

 

No comment

Leave alone

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Option 4

Total

 

#

#

#

#

#

#

#

Meeting Speakers

8

13

74

2

16

138

251

Meeting Comment Sheets

11

26

56

4

11

127

235

Forms

-

11

62

5

4

65

147

E-mail

-

17

13

6

2

96

134

Mayor’s office

-

-

-

-

5

31

36

Total - #

%

19

2.4%

67

8.3%

205

25.5%

17

2.1%

38

4.7%

457

56.9%

803

100%

 

 

The results of the public consultation are similar to those obtained through a local survey that asked residents about their level of support for municipal regulation of pesticide use.  Every year, health units in cities across Ontario - including Ottawa Public Health - participate in York University’s Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS), which surveys residents on health-related issues such as the cosmetic use of pesticides.  From January to August, 2002, the RRFSS surveyed a total of roughly 840 Ottawa residents on their attitudes about lawn and garden pesticides. Of 843 people surveyed, 71.5 per cent strongly or somewhat supported a by-law banning the use of pesticides on municipal properties, and of 841 people surveyed, 61.9 per cent strongly or somewhat supported a by-law banning the use of pesticides on private lawns and gardens. 

 

The main issues (in no particular order of preference) identified at the public meetings are outlined in table 4 below:

 

Table 4.  Main issues expressed at public consultation meetings

Support education/increase in awareness

Support regulatory approach

 

While there are studies and anecdotal histories pointing to possible connections between pesticides and cancer-related illnesses, there is no scientific certainty that pesticides are linked to cancers and other diseases affecting humans.

 

Pesticides are a health concern, and it is a matter of time before scientific studies will bear out the anecdotal evidence.  We can’t wait that long.  Act now and be safe rather than sorry.

 

The city should educate the people on maintaining healthy lawns and ornamentals without applying pesticides, but keep pesticides as the option of last resort.

  

 

Education does not work sufficiently to change social behaviour.  Only a ban will force people to look for alternatives to pesticides.


 

 

A ban will ruin the lawn-care industry.

 

 

The industry will adapt and promote more environmentally friendly alternatives to pesticides.

 

 

Banning the use of pesticides but not the retailing will promote unregulated use of pesticides by homeowners who can still purchase pesticides at the retail level.  This will encourage people to use them surreptitiously, and probably in the wrong strengths and mixtures (not according to label instructions), causing a bigger environmental and health concern than if the pesticides were applied by a professional.

 

 

If a ban were in place, there would be no demand for the product and retailers would not stock them on their shelf space.

 

 

Pesticides are needed to rid the parks and lawns of weeds and other plants that cause allergic reactions.

 

 

A ban is needed to protect those with chemical and environmental sensitivities.

 

 

The city should educate the people on maintaining healthy lawns and ornamentals without applying pesticides, but keep pesticides as the option of last resort.  

 

 

Ban them because they are poisons.

 

 

Do not ban them, because we have the right to choose how to control pests on our own property.

 

 

Pesticides are dangerous to children and pets.

 

 

Pesticides are safe because they have been approved for use by a Health Canada agency (Pest Management Regulatory Agency –PMRA)

 

 

Pesticides are not safe because the PMRA reviews only data supplied by the manufacturer, and in isolation.  The PMRA does not have data on cumulative effect of long-term exposure, or the effects of combined products.

 

Education is essential to inform people on alternatives to pesticides.

Education in concert with a regulation (ban) is essential.

 

Ban infringes on my personal property rights to do as I see fit (i.e. application of legal product – pesticides).

 

Not a total ban.  Neighbours’ activities should not impact on my right to enjoy my property,

 

 

 

Not a total ban.

 

 

Do not trust the industry to regulate itself

 

How to convince condominium corporations on alternatives without municipal regulations

There are more important health issues such as overweight people, air and water quality, enforcing  poop and scoop by-law. 

 

 

At Ottawa’s public consultations, dozens of people told us they suffered from chemical sensitivities and could not tolerate any exposure to pesticides. Symptoms included headaches, rashes, joint pain, difficulty breathing, flu-like symptoms and memory problems.  The problem of multiple chemical sensitivities is a growing field of interest for medical practitioners.  Many of the speakers suffering from chemical sensitivities noted that what is most frustrating to them is that neighbours are using pesticides for cosmetic purposes when alternatives exist, and in some cases when neighbours are asked to refrain from using pesticides they refuse. People with environmental sensitivities also noted that they dread the spraying season, and become imprisoned in their homes so as to avoid contact with the chemicals[51]. It is important to note that the use of pesticides discourages a number of chemically sensitive and concerned residents from walking or biking in their neighbourhoods during the spring and summer.  At a time when Ottawa Public Health is promoting walking to prevent heart disease and type-2 diabetes, any impediment to exercise should be regarded as disadvantageous.  At Ottawa’s consultations, a number of postal workers said they were concerned about their occupational exposure to lawn pesticides.

 

 

Stakeholder meetings.

 

In addition to public meetings, staff also met directly with stakeholder groups that had expressed an interest in the issue of pesticide use reduction.

 

Staff met directly with the following organizations:

 

Ø      HDUUP  -  Health Dangers of the Urban Use of Pesticides

Ø      Ottawa Environmental Coalition

Ø      Lawncare industry representatives

Ø      Organic lawncare industry representatives

Ø      2,4-D Task Force

Ø      Canadian Consumers Specialty Products Association

Ø      Coalition for a Healthy Ottawa

o       Ottawa District Labour Council

o       Allergy and Environmental Health Association

o       Befriending the Earth

o       Your Life Matters Inc.

o       Wild Bird Care Centre

o       Kanata Environmental Network

o       Cupe Local 2204

o       The Pesticide Education Network

o       Carson Kids Home Daycare

o       Sierra Club, Ottawa

o       Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre

o       Canadian Organic Growers, Ottawa Chapter

o       Bridgehead

o       Canadian Union of Postal Workers

o       Richard van der Jagt, MD FRCP

o       Health Dangers of the Urban Use of Pesticides (HDUUP)

Ø      Golf Courses representatives

o       Ottawa area golf courses

o       National Golf Course Owners Association

Ø      PMRA  -  Pest Management Regulatory Agency

Ø      BOMA  -  Building Operators and Managers Association

 

 

Health Dangers Of The Urban Use Of Pesticides (HDUUP)  -  Members expressed that pesticides are an urban health issue, and must be removed from the community.  They presented the view that there is a growing body of both scientific and anecdotal information available that point to pesticides as a cause of a number of cancer-related illnesses.   Their preferred method for eliminating pesticides from the urban environment is option 4, the implementation of a by-law prohibiting the cosmetic use of pesticides on private property.  HDUUP believes that education alone is not sufficient to bring about the change in social behaviour necessary to make people eliminate pesticides for cosmetic use on private property.  They are strongly opposed to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) because it incorporates pesticides as a tool of last resort.  They support the proposed by-law outline presented by the Coalition for a Healthy Ottawa (CHO).

 

Ottawa Environmental Coalition  (OEC)  -  The OEC stated that pesticides are approved for use by Health Canada (Pest Management Regulatory Agency - PMRA), and a legitimate tool for [conventional] lawncare companies to use to control pests on lawns and gardens.  They prefer option 1 or 3.  They agree education for alternatives to pesticides is important.  They are preparing to implement a proposed (Landscape Ontario) industry sponsored third-party audited accreditation program promoting Integrated Pest Management (IPM) where a pesticide is the tool of last resort.

 

Conventional lawncare industry  - the CLI are members of the OEC and support its stance on the pesticide issue.  The conventional lawncare industry prefers options 1 and 3.  Please refer to OEC in previous item.

 

ORGANIC GARDEN AND LAWNCARE INDUSTRY  -  Representatives from the organic lawn and garden care industry expressed a strong desire to support both a reduction in and regulation of cosmetic pesticide use.  Cosmetic pesticide use is seen as an area that can be controlled and one where the community can make a difference to start reducing the number and volume of man-made chemicals being released to the environment.  Some suggestions were also made to the City to somehow offer incentives for use of organic methods of yard care and pest control and to perhaps pursue accreditation of environmentally preferable methods, through a program such as Environmental Choice.

 

2,4-D TASKFORCE  -  The Taskforce took the position that 2,4-D is a registered product approved for use as pesticide by the PMRA and thus scientifically proven to be safe.  The city has no business restricting the use of a legal product.  They questioned the accuracy of several documents and scientific data reviews by the Canadian Physicians Association, and presented contrary documentation.  They preferred Option 1.

 

CANADIAN CONSUMERS SPECIALTY PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION  -  Came in partnership with and support of the 2,4-D Taskforce.  Preferred option 1.

 

Coalition For A Healthy Ottawa  -  Similar to HDUUP, the CHO regards pesticides as an urban health issue.  They presented the outline for a proposed by-law requiring the immediate implementation of a bylaw restricting the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes on private property. 

 

GOLF INDUSTRY REPRESENTATIVES  -  Fungicides are a critical and indispensable tool for the maintenance of their golf greens, at present.  They have moved to reduced pesticide use over the past number of years.  Golf courses are introducing newer and stronger grasses that require less fungicide.  Golf courses have an obligation to their members to maintain a certain standard of service.  Course superintendents are moving strongly towards implementing IPM standards in the operation of their golf courses.  Several golf courses are considering the Audubon Sanctuary certification.  City should separate the golf courses from the private homeowners with respect to appropriate use and storage of pesticides.

 

PEST MANAGEMENT REGULATORY AGENCY  -  The PMRA is responding to the Auditor General report’s criticism by making the regulatory process more transparent and accountable.  Cannot address the synergistic nature of products and ingredients because there is no effective way to judge potential element combinations.  The potential combinations and dosages are endless.  They are aware of the proprietary information issue expressed by the public, but have no clear plan to address the matter at this time.  The PMRA is implementing a public education program to promote alternatives to pesticides as part of their ‘Healthy Lawn’ program initiative.

 

BOMA  -  Building Owners and Managers Association  -  The general view of BOMA-Ottawa, is that a good public information and education program is appropriate. Where improvements can be made on a voluntary basis, this is the preferred course of action. It is important that this be tied to implementation deadlines.  Depending on the success or failure of the implementation objectives to spur compliance, further prescriptive bylaws could be considered at a later date. (i.e. if nothing is done, then implement the bylaws).  The idea is to give the public and corporations a chance to comply voluntarily first.  If a by-law is introduced, some[no outright ban]  restricted use that permits property owners to protect their landscaping investment is essential.

 

Focus Groups - Summary of Results

Decima conducted four focus groups with members of the general population.  Participants were not informed beforehand that the focus group discussion would be on the use of pesticides.


 

The major findings derived from the focus group research include:

 

þ        Participants were somewhat familiar with the issues surrounding the use of pesticides.  Most had read or heard of pesticide use through the media or through municipal initiatives such as bus posters and lawn signs.

þ        Even though many acknowledged that the use of chemicals is not entirely good for one’s health or the environment, most felt that they needed more information to be able to take a definite stance in favor of or against the use of pesticides on private lands.  Participants were somewhat skeptical about the level of damage that is being claimed by anti-pesticide parties, and felt that unbiased scientific information was needed to establish the true consequences of pesticide use.

þ        Upon reviewing the options being considered by the municipality, participants reinforced the need for public education.  Other considerations included:

þ        A gradual approach to the reduction of pesticides is preferred to an immediate, outright ban.

þ        In order for residents to be more accepting of a ban on pesticides, they must be informed of affordable and effective alternative solutions.

þ        There were some concerns about how the City plans to enforce a reduction of pesticide use and about the costs of the initiative as a whole.

þ        Participants preferred public education and the creation of a “peer-pressure environment” to help reduce the use of pesticides as opposed to by-laws, especially in the early stages of the initiative.

þ        Pesticide industry self-regulation, and possible exemptions for golf courses, commercial lands and industrial parks were not well received.

þ        The City should lead by example.

þ        The public was generally supportive of the options presented by the City to reduce the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes.  They were also pleased that the public was being consulted.


Document 14 – Campaign Plan to Enhance Public Education & Awareness

 

Campaign Plan:  Enhanced public education and awareness campaign for pesticide reduction

 

Goals

 

The overall goal for reduced cosmetic or non-essential use of pesticides on private property within the City will be established early in 2003.  This target will be set to achieve a reduction both in the number of property owner using pesticides for cosmetic purposes as well as the amounts of product used.   An appropriate target will be set for each of the next three years with a significant reduction to be achieved by 2005.

 

It is estimated that approximately 100,000 city households are currently using some form of chemical pesticides for cosmetic purposes to maintain their lawns and gardens.

This document establishes the education and awareness initiatives planned to achieve a reduction in cosmetic pesticide use.  Over the three-year course of this campaign, we suspect that the rate of reduction of pesticide use will be more exponential than linear, with the highest numbers (those who have stopped using pesticides) being attained in the third year of the campaign, 2005.  We believe that an enhanced public education and awareness campaign sustained over the next three years will achieve the following annual goals:

§           Achievement of 16% of the target number of households (that stop using pesticides for non-essential lawn care by the end of 2003) (early majority)

§           Achievement of 40% of the target number of households that stop using pesticides for non-essential lawn and garden by the end of 2004 (early majority)

§           Achievement of 100% of the target number of households that stop using pesticides for non-essential lawn and garden care by the end of 2005 (late majority)

 

These goals are based upon comparable social marketing programs (i.e., other environment-related initiatives), where the most notable changes in behaviour come about several years after the start of an intense public education campaign, and on our understanding of typical human behaviour.  Successful social-change and social-marketing programs are founded on a sound segmentation strategy, which is based on an understanding of societal trends.

 

Segmentation Strategy

 

When we look at most social marketing and social change programs, we see that people tend to belong to one of five segments (innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and non-converts) based on how long it takes them to change their behaviour. (Some never change their behaviour.)


 

Innovators

Innovators are well ahead of the trend, and are the first to adopt a new attitude or behaviour.  They are a small group that usually accounts for one to three per cent of the population.  They make their decision quickly, and are usually the most passionate about or driven to support the cause.  In the case of the pesticides campaign, innovators do not use pesticides and are likely the strongest advocates for by-laws restricting their use.

 

Early Adopters

Like innovators, early adopters are a small group (less than five per cent of the population), and are on the edge of a trend in that they make their decisions quickly, though not as quickly as innovators.  They are passionate, but less so than innovators, because they tend to see both sides of the issue.  Because of these traits, early adopters often become the best advocates and, therefore, great influencers of the early and late majorities. 

 

Because most successful social marketing strategies build on an existing trend, innovators and early adopters are usually part of the impetus behind the development of the social marketing campaign.  It should be noted that their behaviour change is most often not the result of a communications campaign; their behaviour change precedes it.

 

Early Majority

The early majority are the first to change their attitudes and behaviours following a public education and awareness campaign.  When it comes to health and environment issues, their attitude and behaviour changes are a result of conscious, informed decisions that are both pragmatic and emotional.   The early majority will be the primary focus for the next three years of the public education and awareness campaign.  In the early stages of a social marketing campaign, the early majority must change their long held beliefs (i.e., perceptions and attitudes) before they can adjust their behaviours.  The good news is that long-term effects are more lasting if the change comes about over several years.

 

Late Majority

The late majority put less thought into the decision than the early majority; they are swayed more by the momentum of a social movement.  We believe that it will take a number of years of sustained messaging before the late majority will be persuaded to stop using pesticides.

 

Combined, the early and late majority typically account for roughly three-quarters of the population.

 

Non-Converts

As most typical social marketing programs, there will be a segment (usually about 10-20 per cent of the audience) that will not respond to the campaign. (For example, about 1/5 of the population still smokes despite all the health warnings.)  These ‘hard core’ individuals very entrenched in their behaviour and are not persuaded by public education and awareness programs.

 

Explanation of the Campaign Goals

Based on this segmentation strategy and where we are in the overall long-term pesticides reduction strategy, we can assume that the combined early and late majority accounts for about 80,000 of the 100,000 households, that the innovators and early adopters are not using pesticides, and there are 20,000 non-coverts who will not be affected by the campaign. 

 

Based on the results from the Decima research study that tracked the 2002 public education and awareness campaign, we know that about 43 per cent of respondents who recalled the campaign said they were prompted to think about their use of pesticides.  This number indicates the first stages of an attitude shift.  With a sustained, visible, and persuasive public awareness and education campaign in 2003, we believe it is realistic to assume that a significant proportion of this group will change their behaviours and become the first strata of the early majority. 

 

Should the campaign continue in 2004 at the same level of intensity as in 2003, we predict a higher degree of conversion will result than in 2003.  As well, those who said they were prompted to think about their use of pesticides but have not yet changed their behaviours, will be exposed to an additional year of persuasive communications.  Additionally, a small number of them may be influenced by the first year converts (i.e., influencers) from the previous year and by the innovators and early adopters.  We believe that the cumulative effect of double exposure combined with the external influences will increase the rate of behaviour change two-and-a-half times over the previous year.

 

The same logic applies in 2005.  With residents exposed to a third year of an intense public education and awareness campaign at or greater than the levels of 2003 and 2004, and with a large number of converts acting as influencers, we believe that the rate of behaviour change will again be two-and-a-half times of that of 2004.  Because this group would essentially be influenced by a critical mass, it can be classified as the late majority.

 

Campaign Targets

 

The primary targets for this campaign are households that use pesticides for cosmetic purposes (residential users) as well as non-residential users, including institutional property owners (i.e., members of BOMA), lawn care companies, and public institutions that own land, such as hospitals and schools.  Within each of these targets are people who make the decision to purchase or use pesticides, those who influence these decisions, and those who apply the products.  Sometimes a person may assume more than one role (i.e., be the decision-maker and one who applies the pesticide).

 

It has been estimated that there are 100,000 households in the City that still use pesticides for cosmetic purposes.  This number potentially translates into about a third of the city’s population.  We are not able to communicate directly with the people in these households since we don’t know precisely who they are.

 


 

For most residential users and for those who maintain the institutional properties, we suspect that the purchase and use of pesticides is a programmed behaviour—probably an annual event in the spring and early summer (likely on a particularly balmy weekend) when they turn to their local garden centre, garage, or garden shed in search of a familiar gardening product.  While they may have a specific problem they wish to address, such as dandelions and other weeds, grubs, or earwigs, and to some degree their purchase and usage decisions may be influenced by pesticide ads, product packaging, and the garden centre sales rep, the main driving force behind the product use is the desire to have a lush, green lawn.

 

In social marketing, the campaign targets tend to perform a cost-benefit analysis when they are being incited to replace a learned, patterned behaviour with a new behaviour.  They will weigh costs (e.g., price, effort, time) and benefits (e.g., belonging to society, being responsible) of the new alternative against their comfort with, familiarity, and expected results from the existing behaviour.  Successful social marketing campaigns present alternatives that are manageable and realistic in the minds of the audience.  They don’t ask too much of the public.  And they build on the momentum of a trend or pattern in society, not against it and not too far ahead of the curve. 

 

Decision Makers

In the case of pesticides, residential users will weigh the costs of having a less-than-perfect lawn with the health of their family, pets, neighbours, community, and general environment.  The process is more complex for non-residential users because the decision-maker (i.e., the person who decides who maintains the grounds and how they do it) is often not the same person as the one or more who perform the work.

 

Because they most often are funded by the public sector, one of the main barriers of many social-marketing campaigns is that they are sometimes perceived as government propaganda.  A large segment of the general public is often skeptical and/or critical of government-based initiatives.  The pesticide issue is complicated by the fact that the government (and in this sense we mean the aggregate of all levels of government) presents mixed messages.  On the one hand it studies, regulates and approves the sale and use of residential pesticides which can be seen as an explicit endorsement of pesticide use.  On the other hand, it has discovered that there are detrimental health and environmental effects that are most likely associated with pesticides, and in some cases, wants to restrict or limit their use.  Caught in the middle of this taffy pull are homeowners and non-residential decision-makers, some of whom do not want the government telling them what they can and cannot do on their private property.

 

For the results of a social marketing program to be sustained over a long period of time, it is important for the decision-makers to feel empowered.  They need to feel as though they made the decision—that it was not forced upon them.  This feeling stems from the core of human nature. 


The majority of us will behave rationally when we are given the opportunity to do so, when after weighing the options we are allowed to make an informed choice.  A related example is the Bag to Earth yard waste program.  Before this program was instituted, most people put their yard waste in plastic garbage bags and included it with their regular garbage.  After learning about the environmental benefits of bagging yard waste in paper bags, most people decided to change their behaviour, although it meant the additional work and expense (though quite marginal) of purchasing separate paper bags and putting them out for pick-up on specific days.  This behaviour change has become habitual and commonplace, is now a fixed part of our garbage ritual, and came about without legislation.

 

Key Influencers

The success of a number of environmentally-related social-marketing campaigns in the past was based on two types of key influencers:  influential celebrities, and children and youth.  In the 1970s, 80s and 90s, notable personalities, such as David Suzuki, Jacques Cousteau, and Sarah McLauchlin, were effective in raising consciousness on environmental issues. 

 

Children and youth, when they learned about the damage that was being done to their planet and essentially, their future, as a result of environmental negligence, became champions for the message and helped bring about social change.  Influential celebrities, and children and youth can become strong advocates for the pesticide campaign.  We recommend enhancing the existing 2002 campaign by focusing on these influencers.

 

Messaging

 

We recommend continuing with the concept used in last summer’s public education and awareness campaign, This is a Beautiful Lawn/Ca, c’est une belle pelouse.  This overarching theme has become the informal brand for this program.  While post-campaign research indicates that campaign awareness is high, particularly based on the short campaign run and limited placement, we have not achieved a level of saturation that would suggest a shift in the campaign concept.  However, as the thrust of the campaign moves from attitude to behaviour change over the next three years, the key messages will need to change in order to incite behaviour change. We have prepared the following messaging matrix to outline the main messaging components for this campaign.

Messaging Matrix

Overarching Theme

This is a Beautiful Lawn/ Ça, c’est une belle pelouse

Personal/Hedonistic  Value Proposition

A modest change (i.e., shifting from pesticides to an alternative) will benefit the health of your family and pets.


 

Community-minded Value Proposition

A modest change (i.e., shifting from pesticides to an alternative) will benefit the health of your neighbours, your community, and the overall environment.

Messaging Tone

Warmth:  This is a health, environmental, and social issue.

Empowering:  We want you to make an informed, conscious choice.

Honest/Prudent:  We are telling you what we believe to be true based and in the best interests of the majority. 

Empathetic:  We understand that you will have to make some changes and sacrifices vis-a-vis your lawn.  We realize that there is conflicting information (i.e., from Health Canada, the MOE, and the PMRA) and no absolute or discrete claims that can be made regarding pesticides.

Collaborative:  Come join the trend towards better health, a better environment, and a more organic/less chemical approach to life.

Synergy:  We are all part of a greater whole.  In the case of pesticide use, our individual actions affect others.

Campaign Positioning

We are taking a proactive, prudent and balanced approach. It’s based on sound decision-making, scientific evidence, common sense, and previous experience, and is in the interests of the majority.

The ‘proactive’ component of the positioning statement addresses claims that there is no proven link between disease and pesticide use.   Based on the reasonable scientific evidence we have at this time, we are making a proactive, preventative decision (i.e., we are dealing with this issue in a thoughtful way before it becomes a major problem). 

Through this ‘balanced’ approach, we are able to look at the allergies and sensitivities that are associated with pesticides, as well as those related to weeds and other allergens.

We believe this approach is in the best interests of the majority.  Although people have the right to use these products on their private property, their actions affect their neighbours, their community, and the whole environment.

While some will question having a public education campaign, the shift away from pesticides will be more sincere and long-lasting if people make the decision themselves.  This approach also gives the lawn-care industry and those who sell pesticides enough time to shift their product focus to meet the new demand for organic and other alternative approaches.

 

Campaign Incentives

We should run an incentive program in 2004 or, preferably, in 2005.  An incentive program will be more effective on the late majority—those who will move with the trend after the innovators, early adopters, and early majority (those we wish to convert next year and the year after).  We have several ideas for incentive programs:

§           One incentive program encourages a whole block or street to become pesticide free, with the innovators, early adopters, and early majority encouraging their neighbours to come on board.  Prizes awarded would benefit the block, such as being invited to a large-scale block party or BBQ (for all the winning blocks) on city grounds (which, of course, are pesticide free).

§           Another incentive is bigger in scope.  Ottawa would challenge a comparable Canadian city that is running a pesticide reduction campaign to see which city could have the greatest number of homes pesticide free by a certain date.  This incentive would work best if it took place at the same time as the program above.


 

§           The same type of challenge could be developed at the institutional level to encourage private and public institutions to stop using pesticides.   This type of incentive would work best if the promotions and incentives were targeted to the respective institutions’ employees and stakeholders.  There could be challenges between institutions within different sectors (e.g., have all public schools compete), as well as intra-sector competitions.

§            

We do not recommend offering incentives to individuals or individual households.  Many citizens have already opted out of using pesticides and have not been explicitly rewarded for their decision.  If we offered an incentive to individuals who were late in changing their behaviours, those who had already stopped using pesticides (and those who never did) may feel disenfranchised by such a program.  Additionally, citizens and groups that are pushing for legislation could be very critical of such a program.

 

Tactics

 

We recommend continuing with the activities from the last campaign (identified below as “Existing”) which tended to focus on the household decision-maker, and supplementing them with new activities, the bulk of which are targeted to children and youth, who will act as influencers in this program.

 

 


 

Existing

(Focus on household decision-maker)

New

(Greater focus on influencers:  youth)

Advertising

Broadcast

Radio:  advertising on mainstream stations

Radio:  advertising on youth-oriented stations to reach influencers

Television:  TV Guide channel

Cinemas:  pre-movie ads to reach influencers (youths)

Print

Dailies:  advertising in daily publications (same as last year)

Specialty pubs:  advertising in community papers and youth-oriented publications (i.e., Fulcrum, Xpress, Bytowne Guide) to reach influencers

Outdoor

Transit:  exterior and interior

Bike racks

Building banners on city buildings

Signs on road medians, as well as model gardens spread throughout the city (to help build awareness in the suburbs and outer regions)

Digital

 

Website:  enhance the content over the previous year

Interstitial on City home page that leads to pesticide section


 

Direct Mail/Email

 

Inserts in city mailings (e.g., water and tax bills)

Flash-based short feature that explains alternatives to pesticides that is also available on video

Leaf bags with alternative-to-pesticide information

Collateral

Lawn signs

Posters

Pamphlets

 

Events

 

In-school growing program:  encourage classes to grow pesticide-free lawns in school for children to bring home and incorporate into their existing lawn (they won’t want their parents to ‘contaminate’ their lawn when it’s blended with the family lawn).

Have children make their own versions of the This is a Beautiful Lawn sign to bring home.

When promoting outdoor events, make it clear within the promotions, tickets, and at the event that the grounds are pesticide free (the tag from the campaign concept would become a good icon).

Advocacy

 

A city expert this year who will help train retail staff, and provide information tools to community associations so they can have workshops.  This individual will also provide information to school boards to fit into their curriculum

Assemble a group of spirited enthusiasts who will help bring credibility to the campaign.  We need a range, from those who will resonate with youth (i.e., Sarah McLauchlin, who just spoke out in favour of the Kyoto Accord, and Avril Lavigne, to local heroes, such as the infamous gardeners in Kemptville and the owners of Saunders Farm).

Retail

 

Staff training on safe alternatives

Product placement:  separating and distinguishing pesticides from the alternatives

Have a supply of This is a Beautiful Lawn signs

 

 

Campaign Tracking

 

To evaluate the efficacy of the campaign, it is suggested that three components be tracked during its implementation: campaign awareness, attitude change, and behaviour change. Data to be tracked would include a combination of quantitative data (e.g., survey results, hits to the website) and qualitative information, such as the tone of media coverage, to best understand how well we are doing. The results will be compared over each year to gain an understanding of the changes in awareness, attitudes, and behaviours resulting from the overall program efforts.


Quantitative Measures

Early in the fall of 2003, 2004, and 2005, a survey of a sample of Ottawa residents would be done to gauge their unaided awareness of the public awareness and education campaign, their attitudes towards pesticide use, and their actual usage of pesticides. Questions from the 2002 Ottawa Market Pulse survey would be repeated so that results can be compared and the changes assessed year over year, as well as over the course of the campaign (i.e., 2002 to 2005).

 

Hits to the pesticide information area on the city’s website would also be tracked, as would calls to the information line, requests for the information kits and lawn signs; however, while that data can provide some indication of awareness levels, these numbers will not be used to judge the efficacy of the campaign in regards to attitude or behaviour changes. Many people may shift their attitudes and behaviours regarding pesticide use and not contact the city for more information.

 

Participation in events such as the in-store training and incentive programs will also help the City understand the public’s interest in this initiative. 

 

A pre- and post-campaign pantry study is also recommended in which a sample of households would be surveyed to determine what types of pesticide products they currently own. In the pre-study, to be undertaken in the spring of 2003, people could also be asked if they know how to dispose of their pesticides. (which will be asked again in the fall of 2005).

 

Qualitative Measures

The tone of media coverage would also be tracked over the course of the campaign. This information may provide some insight into current beliefs and perceptions, though it can only be cited as a barometer. Feedback from retailers, gardeners, households, institutions, and other stakeholders will also help us understand the mood of the marketplace.


Health, Recreation and Social Services Committee

Extract of Minutes 35

21 November 2002

 

            CITY OF OTTAWA PESTICIDE REDUCTION STRATEGY
FOR PRIVATE PROPERTY

STRATÉGIE DE RÉDUCTION DES PESTICIDES DE LA VILLE D’OTTAWA
POUR LES PROPRIÉTÉS PRIVÉES

ACS2002-DEV-POL-0032

 

The General Manager, People Services Department, Jocelyne St Jean, introduced the item by saying this is a joint report from the Development Services, People Services, Corporate Services and Emergency and Protective Services Departments and reflects an immense amount of staff and community work.  Ms. St Jean commended all the participants for their work and for bringing the matter forward.

 

Mr. Dennis Jacobs, Director, Planning and Environment Infrastructure Policy, began by stating that the driving force behind the recommendations is the firm belief that the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes must not only be reduced but must be eliminated and this is City staff’s goal.  He expressed the belief that the recommendations represent the best and most effective way of reaching this goal.  Mr. Jacobs expressed the belief that a community and education-based solution will work.  People have indicated that they want to learn more, they are willing to try alternatives and City staff’s job is to provide them with the information they need to start doing so.

 

Mr. Jacobs continued by saying the Committee would hear the views of all proponents, the lawn care industry, health care professionals, people with environmental sensitivities, environmental groups and the public in general.  Different interest groups advocate differing approaches, from the immediate adoption of a prescriptive by-law to more progressive approaches.  Mr. Jacobs said by-laws are only effective when there is broad-based community support and acceptance.  He posited that, once people have the right information, based on a sound education program, their decision to use alternative methods would be more concrete and long lasting.

 

Mr. Jacobs expressed the view the proposed education campaign would work, based on the success of the limited campaign undertaken this past summer.  People repeatedly told City staff that they wanted more information, during the public consultation sessions, the focus group discussions and by the way they responded to last summer’s campaign.  The education campaign will continue through to 2005 and staff will regularly measure its success and monitor its effectiveness to ensure goals are being met, however, if targets are not being met, staff will urge Council, through the Health, Recreation and Social Services Committee, to bring in a by-law.


 

Mr. Jacobs then introduced Ms. Cynthia Lévesque, Program Manager, Environmental Management, Development Services, who gave a detailed presentation on the staff report by means of a PowerPoint presentation, on file with the Committee Coordinator.

 

Councillor C. Doucet asked why Ottawa would adopt a “go slow” approach as opposed to following the Province of Québec’s lead, which has a generic by-law limiting the use of pesticides in several municipalities, including the City of Montréal.  Mr. Jacobs responded by saying it was clear from the consultation that there are mixed messages and regulation without community support is ineffective.  Councillor Doucet noted that 65% of those who attended a consultation session at Lansdowne Park were in favour and he wondered if this was not sufficient support.  Mr. Jacobs pointed out that, while there is significant support for a by-law, there is also significant misunderstanding about what pesticides are, what they are used for and when they are used: until people understand this better, a by-law won’t be effective.

 

Councillor E. Arnold asked if staff could give the rationale behind the Toronto Board of Health’s decision to direct its Medical Officer of Health to move forward with a draft by-law effective May 2003.  The Medical Officer of Health and Long-term Care, Dr. R. Cushman, said his understanding was that the industry’s behaviour at the meeting might have been one of the reasons why the Board decided to accelerate the process.  He agreed he would try to obtain the meeting transcript of the Toronto Board of Health meeting prior to Council’s deliberations on this matter on December 18th.

 

Councillor Arnold said she was aware, through her association with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, that there is broad support for regulating, in conjunction with an education campaign, the cosmetic use of pesticides, as was the case in Toronto.  She inquired why this question was not explicitly asked in the local polling.  Mr. Jacobs replied that in any questionnaire, choices have to be made.  The interpretation of the information received is that, while there is significant support for a by-law, there is also a general misunderstanding about when people are using pesticides.  Staff believes it can go further by sticking with community education and holding back on a regulatory control people may or may not understand.  Councillor Arnold was pleased to see everyone has the same goal and if this is a public health and environmental problem, the question becomes how to do it and how fast.

 

Councillor D. Deans asked whether the Medical Officer of Health has reviewed the weight of evidence on both sides of this issue and come to a conclusion.  Dr. Cushman said that, from an epidemiological point of view, there was not the same overwhelming, consistent and strong evidence there was for second-hand smoke.  He added that epidemiology is a very conservative science and that absence of proof is not proof of absence.  This is where cautionary steps should be considered. 


 

Dr. Cushman alluded to a comment in Ms. Levesque’s presentation about “strong association” and he clarified this usually applies to odds, ratios and relative risks greater than 2: in this case, the risks are between 1.1 and 1.3.  He concluded by saying that, regrettably, there was not overwhelming and incontestable evidence, however there is enough in terms of diseases, in terms of the environmental “soup” in which we live in to reduce and ultimately eliminate pesticides, not only on the basis of caution but on the basis of the substantive evidence currently available.

 

Councillor Deans asked for a comment about granular as opposed to sprayed applications, specifically what the concentrations would be and whether there is any value in treating the two differently.  Ms. Levesque said this depended on the application rate.  There might be less dispersion through granules however granules would become soluble through soil and water, but they could potentially be used as an interim measure.

 

Councillor A. Cullen asked whether the object of setting targets was to reach 100% elimination of pesticides by 2005.  Ms. Levesque replied this might be the case, but more research is required before setting the targets.  She added that staff still need to establish what an aggressive but appropriate target would be by the end of 2005 but ultimately, regulation will be required to have people change their practices to eliminate pesticide use, and this may be later than 2005.  Councillor Cullen posed a number of questions about the process by which staff intend to make the education program community-based given that some of the stakeholder groups may not want to participate in the process.  Ms. Levesque responded by saying that this aspect of the recommendations still needs to be developed.

 

Councillor D. Eastman asked whether staff could clarify that the agricultural industry in the City of Ottawa is exempt from the recommendations being put forward.  Mr. Jacobs confirmed that the use of pesticides by the farming industry is not addressed in this report nor is it implicated.

 

Councillor R. Chiarelli said that, based on his research, many people did not realize they were using pesticides.  He asked whether staff have evaluated the percentage of people who oppose pesticide use without realizing they are using them.  Ms. Levesque said staff did not do the correlation between people who are not aware they are using pesticides and their opinion on whether its use should be controlled.  An April survey found that 18% of households using pesticides were not aware the products were pesticides.  Councillor Chiarelli wanted to know how that should feed into a public education campaign.  The Director of Communications and Marketing, Marie-Josée Lapointe, indicated that the public education campaign of the past summer focused on strongly encouraging people to read the labels on the products they use because of the survey findings.


 

Councillor J. Legendre asked for a comment on the state of scientific knowledge for this dossier, and on the approach taken by the Canadian government in pursuing knowledge.  Dr. Cushman said he had serious doubts about the government’s ability to regulate, citing as example the recent laying of additional charges by the RCMP in the tainted blood affair, the findings related to the use of hormone replacement therapy and the tendency to examine chemicals and products in isolation as opposed to doing cross-correlations.  He said all these illustrate the need to take the federal government findings with a grain of salt.

 

Councillor Deans inquired about how the requested funds would be used.  Ms. Levesque said these would be used to establish a dedicated resource, with the appropriate expertise, to work closely with the community to set the curriculum for retail sales, to conduct the education campaign and consciousness-raising, to build on the work done in 2002 and implement the recommendations.  Councillor Deans pointed out that, in her community consultations, she heard many comments about the City needing to “get its own house in order” before moving forward, specifically as it relates to sports fields that have been allowed to deteriorate through lack of a turf management strategy.  She wanted to know how recommendation (i) would be applied.  Ms. Levesque said the intent was to for the City to establish itself as a model to demonstrate alternatives, and the funds would not be used for sports fields.

 

At this point, the Committee heard from one hundred and twenty-six (126) delegations, consisting of property owners and residents of Ottawa and other municipalities, academic and medical professionals, environmentalists, environmental medicine practitioners, the lawn care industry, the organic lawn care industry, owners, operators and managers of golf courses, and other interested parties.  Of the delegations, forty-five (45) spoke in favour of enactment of a by-law to regulate the cosmetic use of pesticides on private property, with enforcement to begin in April 2004: the remaining eighty-one (81) favoured an approach based on Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and voluntary reduction in the use of pesticides on the part of individuals and the industry.

 

A précis of all the presentations is under preparation and will be circulated to Council prior to its deliberations on this matter, scheduled for December 18th.

 

Committee Discussion

 

Councillor R. Chiarelli said one of the major problems that emerged through the course of the debate was that many people lacked the knowledge of what is a pesticide.  To address this, he put forward a Motion asking that staff report back on the legislative mechanisms the City has, to require that the sale of pesticides be accompanied by specific information at point of sale.


 

In response, the Director of Communication and Marketing, Marie Josée Lapointe indicated this would be helpful, since one of the findings of last summer’s campaign was that 22% of people were in that category and, in the absence of a strategy, naming the products was difficult for staff.  Chair Munter ruled that this could be considered a stand-alone Motion.

 

Responding to a request for comments from Councillor Doucet, the City Solicitor, J. Bellomo said he had no problem from a legal perspective with the Westmount by-law the Councillor circulated.

 

Councillor Arnold expressed the hope the Cullen Motion would be approved as it sets the City down the road to implementing a by-law as soon as possible.  She said one of the strong weaknesses in the report is that it sets no targets and Council would have to go back and do this.  She wondered whether an amendment set along the lines of the one in the City of Toronto Medical Officer of Health’s report would facilitate the implementation of measurements for these targets, given that the City would have until 2005 to achieve them.  Dr. Cushman listed the following activities as possible measures for consideration, noting there are difficulties because most would have to be voluntary:

·                    household surveys;

·                    garage surveysl

·                    lawn care company surveys;

·                    retail sales data;

·                    home improvement and garden centres;

·                    data surveys of property managers.

 

Dr. Cushman said other methods could include change and evolving practices, looking at recognition of pesticides and people volunteering to use alternates methods.  Information could also be gathered from institutions, the school boards, from child care, hospitals and long term care facilities. 

 

At this point, Chair Munter read a Motion from Councillor Cullen, asking for the City to enact a by-law to regulate the non-essential use of cosmetic pesticides, based on specific criteria, with enforcement to begin by April 30, 2004.

 

Speaking to his Motion, Councillor Cullen thanked all the participants for their input into this important topic.  He described how he began his involvement with pesticides, his discovery of the considerable body of information on the subject and that the medical profession, the Ontario College of Physicians and the Ontario Public Health Association had strong reservations about the use of these products.  He then discovered that two-thirds of city residents, two-thirds of the province and two-thirds of the country don’t use pesticides.


 

Councillor Cullen pointed out that the seven medical practitioners who spoke today gave the strong and consistent message that the evidence is mounting and they are so concerned that they recommend people avoid using pesticides.  The City has eliminated the use of pesticides on its properties: it has gone through a public education process and staff recommends it continue on this path.  The Councillor felt that, rather than taking the approach outlined in the staff report, the City should move immediately, as he did not want to expose another person, another child, another environmentally-sensitive person to these toxins.  The lawn care industry will be able to continue providing its services, because people will still want them and other, safer products are available for use.

 

Councillor Arnold said was introduced to this topic by Debra Sine, the first person to address the Committee today.  Ms. Sine had been wrongly informed by City employees about pesticides having being used near her home.  This led the Councillor, as a member of the former City of Ottawa Environmental Advisory Committee, to work hard on this issue.  Councillor Arnold said it was heartening to hear over 100 delegations speaking about the need to reduce the cosmetic or non-essential use of pesticides.  She called this a step forward, because even people who don’t believe the medical experts, who shun the weight of mounting scientific evidence and the stacks of peer-reviewed studies and want absolute proof, are saying society would probably be better off by reducing the cosmetic use of pesticides.

 

The Councillor expressed her disappointment with the staff report and with the discussion so far, leading her to believe that the Cullen Motion will not pass when the approach suggested therein is what is required.  She spoke about the fact that compliance rates for regulations about seat belts, drinking and driving, smoking, “poop and scoop” and using helmets when cycling are high because the regulations were introduced with public education campaigns.  For this reason, the Councillor said she is baffled by the argument against a public health and environmental benefit based on the contention that people will sneak out in the middle of the night and apply a toxic substance to their lawn, even when they know this is harmful to their health, to the environment, against the city by-law and there are other, reasonable alternatives.  Councillor Arnold asked that the Committee at least support the public education campaign and regulation, the two pillars necessary to achieve a reduction in the non-essential use of pesticides even if they do not support the Cullen Motion.

 

Councillor P. McNeely moved that the Cullen Motion be deferred to 2005.  The Councillor felt the timelines were not practical from the point of view of the industry, of what the public expects.  He expressed the belief it would be counter-productive to move so rapidly.


 

Councillor Chiarelli noted there is ample opinion on both sides of this issue, but the majority opinion at this point is that a ban should be a last resort; still another view holds that Ottawa City Council has already banned too many things.  The Councillor said this illustrates that, in order to reach a goal, Council has to use methods that are sustainable and ongoing.  He spoke about the no-smoking by-law and the proposed pesticide by-law as a study in contrast of maturity of issue.  At the time of enactment of the no-smoking by-law, fully 90% of the public understood that second-hand smoke caused significant health risks: just slightly over 50% believe pesticides cause a significant health risk.  The no-smoking by-law had the support of 74% whereas just over 50% support a pesticide by-law.  With regard to adoption and usage of the product, 20% used cigarettes; 47% use pesticides and, of that number, one quarter are not even aware they are using them.  Councillor Chiarelli said this illustrated that the maturity of the issue was not there and is the rationale behind his Motion requiring that information on pesticide be provided to those purchasing the product.  Combining this aspect with a target of 2005 will make the issue quickly mature.  The Councillor spoke of having been involved in by-laws where the city showed leadership and of seeing these withdrawn and rescinded within one year of implementation because there was not sufficient buy-in from the public.

 

Responding to a question from Councillor Cullen, Chair Munter clarified the intent of the deferral Motion to mean that the entire matter would be tabled to 2005.  Councillor Cullen said it was obvious that people are exposed to pesticides now, and he was unwilling to allow the unnecessary exposure of anybody to the cosmetic use of pesticides, products that society has lived without for centuries.

 

Councillor D. Deans spoke in support of the deferral Motion, as she did not believe residents are prepared to support a ban on pesticides.  She pointed out that the Committee heard from industry representatives, from people with environmental sensitivity but it did not hear from all that many of the average person who will be out next spring trying to deal with his or her lawn.  The Medical Officer of Health has indicated that the weight of medical evidence is not overwhelmingly consistent, that there is strong evidence but that “absence of proof is not proof of absence”.  Councillor Deans did not feel a ban was something the City could move on today.  She said most reasonable people have a gut feeling that cosmetic use is bad and will use an alternative, but that alternative has not been provided in a reasonable way.  The Councillor pointed out there is much to do in terms of public education, consciousness-raising and encouragement, and the City has to get it own house in order from a sports field perspective.

 

Councillor Arnold said she found it appalling that the Committee would not care about the impact the 30% of people who claim they know they are using pesticides have on the health of their neighbours.  She averred that the Committee has a responsibility to act in a responsible manner.


 

Moved by P. McNeely

 

That the following Motion (from Councillor Cullen) be deferred until 2005:

 

Whereas the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that municipalities may regulate the use of pesticides based on the use the pre-cautionary principle in order to protect public health;

 

Whereas there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the non-essential use of cosmetic pesticides poses risks to human health;

Whereas it is deemed appropriate to enact a bylaw to regulate the non-essential use of cosmetic pesticides, to be accompanied by a program of public education on safer alternatives to pesticides;

 

Therefore be it resolved that the City of Ottawa enact a bylaw to regulate the non-essential, cosmetic use of pesticides, based on the following:

 

1.      That this bylaw prohibit the non-essential, cosmetic use of pesticides on all properties within the urban area of the City of Ottawa;

2.      That the use of pesticides be permitted for agricultural and forestry uses, for inside a building, for public and private swimming pools, for water purification, and for the protection of public health as determined by the Medical Officer of Health;

3.      That the use of pesticides be permitted in dealing with infestations, subject to the conditions in Appendix A;

4.      That public education on the purpose of this bylaw commence on April 30, 2003, that the enforcement of this bylaw begin on April 30, 2004, that fines under this bylaw be applied following a repeat and substantiated complaint, and that enforcement of this bylaw be based on the City’s normal bylaw enforcement procedures;

5.         That the enforcement of this bylaw with respect to golf courses be suspended until April 30, 2005, to permit the transition to safer alternatives to cosmetic pesticide use;


 

6.         That the City of Ottawa continue to provide public education on safer alternatives to the non-essential, cosmetic use of pesticides through public promotion and information packages in dealing with complaints under this bylaw.

 

CARRIED

YEAS (5)         D. Eastman, R. Chiarelli, D. Deans, P. McNeely, A. Munter

NAYS (3)        E. Arnold, C. Doucet, A. Cullen

 

At this point, Chair Munter read the following Motions:

·        From Councillor Chiarelli on point of sale notification;

·        From Councillor Doucet on the Westmount by-law;

·        From Councillor Arnold, setting a target of 90% reduction in cosmetic use of pesticides;

·        From Councillor McNeely, setting a target of 70% reduction in the cosmetic use of pesticides.

 

Chair Munter also requested that, given the lateness of the hour, members comment on all the Motions within the same timeframe.

 

Speaking to his Motion, Councillor Doucet said it was clear that the use of pesticides over the past thirty years has damaged and stressed the environment.  Many people suffer from environmental sensitivities and seven medical experts have told the Committee that people are dying from the collapse of the environment.  The Councillor said his constituents told him that they don’t use pesticides, and hope their neighbours don’t use them, but feel uncomfortable about an outright ban.  Many supported the Westmount approach because they felt the municipality is offering concrete steps to reduce the use of pesticides while allowing its residents some flexibility to deal with infestations.

 

Councillor Cullen expressed his support for the Doucet Motion.  He informed the Committee that he holds monthly ward council meetings with community associations and not once was the comment made that he was going too fast or too far with his proposal to ban the cosmetic use of pesticides.  The Councillor has been holding consultations since October 2001 and even through the City’s Official Plan exercise.  He put forward the view that elected officials are behind the public on this issue, that the support is there, that people are looking for guidance and that the City can impose a ban.  Councillor Cullen said that, in his view, it was moral cowardice to dodge the by-law and he asked that the Committee not drag its heels.


 

Chair Munter averred that the Committee’s responsibility is to bring before City Council policies that can be supported and that will work.  He thought it would be foolish and foolhardy for this to suffer a massive defeat at Council, something which he felt was imminent.  Chair Munter said he was not looking for a moral victory, but for pesticide reduction.  The Committee is sending the message that it is not prepared to reject a ban nor is it prepared to impose it today. 

 

Chair Munter called the Doucet Motion cumbersome and bureaucratic: it allows pesticide spraying with permits and may begin to look a bit self-serving if fees are imposed.

 

Councillor Doucet pointed out that his Motion only calls for examining the Westmount by-law as a model for the Ottawa by-law.  He noted that the entire Province of Québec considers it a good model.  The Councillor said the principles of public health and subsidiary rights are at play: municipalities have the principal responsibility for preventing people from putting poison on their lawns.  If the City of Ottawa brings in a ban, it will be showing the rest of the country that the Capital cares for people.

 

Moved by C. Doucet

 

WHEREAS the City of Westmount’s pesticide by-law has been successful in reducing the cosmetic use of pesticides except in cases of infestations as defined by the by-law;

 

WHEREAS pesticides continue to be used in Westmount but with a permit;

 

WHEREAS the Westmount by-law is being used by the City of Montreal as a model for developing its own pesticide by-law;

 

BE IT RESOLVED that staff be directed to develop a by-law for the City of Ottawa based on Westmount’s by-law.

 

LOST

NAYS: D. Eastman, R. Chiarelli, D. Deans, P. McNeely, A. Munter

YEAS: E. Arnold, A. Cullen, C. Doucet

 

Councillor Eastman said he was worried about how the Chiarelli Motion would be put into practice.  He expressed the hope that staff will provide more than just legal comment on its applicability, and make recommendations on how retailers would implement it.  With regard to Councillor Arnold’s Motion, he was not prepared to set targets tonight, preferring to let City staff meet with all the stakeholders and recommend targets to Committee and Council.


 

Councillor Eastman said there were people here from all over the province and the country because this is an important matter and Council should not want to rush into it without targets that are achievable and measureable.  He added that he resented remarks made earlier about “gutlessness and collusion”, noting that everyone is heading in the same direction and saying that he would be proud of what had been done.

 

Councillor Chiarelli provided additional details to clarify the intent of his Motion in response to Councillor Eastman’s concerns.  With respect to Councillor Arnold’s and Councillor McNeely’s Motions, he requested that staff comment on the arbitrariness of the numbers, to ensure the ones selected are reasonable and that people are able to meet them.  Mr. Jacobs said that timing had not allowed staff to bring forward measureable

indicators that it felt comfortable about.  The numbers in the Motions are taken from the Toronto report.  Mr. Jacobs set staff agree with setting targets and would seek to implement whatever target is established.

 

Councillor Arnold said she brought forward the amendment to the staff report in order to be very clear about the targets.  In addition, they set out a requirement or pre-condition for a by-law as opposed to setting out the possibility of a by-law if targets are not met.  This is more closely aligned with the rationale set out in the report for reductions in the cosmetic use of pesticide. Councillor Arnold expressed the belief that the Committee is responsible for making decisions on factors other than polling results.  These targets were proposed by the Toronto Medical Officer of Health and are based on public health and environmental indicators.  The Motion provides resolution to the staff report.

 

Councillor D. Deans gave her support to Councillor Chiarelli’s Motion.  Speaking to the Arnold and McNeely Motions, she noted her unease at setting targets, as there had not been a lot of debate about what a reasonable target should be, or how to go about setting one.  She expressed her preference for referring the matter to Council without a recommendation and asking staff to supply this information, prior to the Council meeting, as to what a reasonable number would be.  Neither Councillor Arnold nor McNeely would agree to this suggestion as a “friendly amendment”.

 

Councillor McNeely spoke in support of the Chiarelli Motion.  He also acknowledged Councillor Cullen’s work in raising awareness of this issue and the thanked all those in attendance for sharing their views.  Councillor McNeely expressed the belief the Committee was taking a step in the right direction.  As former businessman he felt that the industry needed time to adjust.  The committee, in his opinion, had made a difficult decision.  The industry was now aware of the direction the City would be taking and that it would be done as quickly as possible, in a way that will achieve support at Council.  He asked that the Committee support his Motion for a 70% target rate.


 

Councillor Chiarelli said he could support neither of the Motions setting targets but he would, prior to Council, try to determine if there was a rationale for those targets.  He felt Council should be told it is essential to have a deadline date, but it was also important not to impose arbitrary targets.

 

Chair Munter expressed the view that the staff report lacks clarity.  It does not honour the debate that has taken place, nor the information received, the evidence and the feelings of the community.  He felt it was essential to say clearly to the industry that the City would be taking them up on the challenge to reduce the use of pesticides and the only way to do this is by setting targets.  He did not feel the targets were arbitrary: they have been alluded to throughout the day and even put forward by industry representatives.  Chair Munter said he would support Councillor McNeely’s Motion as it states very clearly that there will be a by law in 2005 if there is no dramatic reduction in the use of pesticides.

 

Moved by R. Chiarelli

 

That City staff report back to Council on legislative mechanisms, including the use of municipal licensing power, to require that the sale and application of pesticides be accompanied by stickers or flyers that advise that the product is a pesticide and that the City of Ottawa encourages the use of safer alternatives to pesticides, and that;

 

In the interim the City approach retailers to secure cooperation in developing and implementing a point of sale notification model, as above, and;

 

That failing volunteer compliance, Council proceed to implement a mandatory program consistent with its authority

 

CARRIED, with D. Eastman dissenting

 

Moved by E. Arnold

 

Whereas staff have presented a report recommending an education approach to the reduction of cosmetic pesticide use on exterior private property in Ottawa;

 

And whereas the staff report has also recommended that if established pesticide reduction targets have not been met by the end of 2005, a by-law will be a key component of any further reduction program;

 

And whereas the public has clearly indicated its support for such a by-law;


 

Therefore be it resolved that, if the following targets for reduction in cosmetic pesticide use have not been met by the end of September 2005:

·        90% reduction on residential properties;

·        100% reduction on all school, daycare, homes for the aged and hospital properties; and

·        65% reduction on all remaining non-residential uses,

 

That staff be directed to prepare a by-law to be adopted by the end of 2005; and that such a by-law would incorporate the following principles:

 

Applicable to all private, industrial, commercial and institutional property within the boundaries of the City of Ottawa;

 

Exemptions

i.    Agriculture and forestry

ii.   Public and private swimming pools

iii   Purifying of water for human and animal consumption

iv.  Lowest toxicity pesticides for protection of public health and safety

v.   Infestations where a temporary pesticide application permit has been issues by the City

vi.  Indoor use

A pesticide reduction requirement for golf courses and bowling greens;

Contains a list of substances deemed to be permitted pesticides;

Signage and notification guidelines.

 

LOST

NAYS (5) P. McNeely, D. Eastman, R. Chiarelli, D. Deans, A. Munter

YEAS (3) A. Cullen, C. Doucet, E. Arnold

Moved by P. McNeely

 

Whereas staff have presented a report recommending an education approach to the reduction of cosmetic pesticide use on exterior private property in Ottawa;

 

And whereas the staff report has also recommended that if established pesticide reduction targets have not been met by the end of 2005, a by-law will be a key component of any further reduction program;


 

And whereas the public has clearly indicated its support for such a by-law;

 

Therefore be it resolved that, if the following targets for reduction in cosmetic pesticide use have not been met by the end of September 2005:

·        70% reduction on residential properties;

·        100% reduction on all school, daycare, homes for the aged and hospital properties; and

·        65% reduction on all remaining non-residential uses,

 

That staff be directed to prepare a by-law to be adopted by the end of 2005; and that such a by-law would incorporate the following principles:

 

Applicable to all private, industrial, commercial and institutional property within the boundaries of the City of Ottawa;

 

Exemptions

i.    Agriculture and forestry

ii.   Public and private swimming pools

iii   Purifying of water for human and animal consumption

iv.  Lowest toxicity pesticides for protection of public health and safety

v.   Infestations where a temporary pesticide application permit has been issues by the City

vi.  Indoor use

A pesticide reduction requirement for golf courses and bowling greens;

Contains a list of substances deemed to be permitted pesticides;

Signage and notification guidelines.

 

CARRIED

YEAS (5) A. Cullen, E. Arnold, C. Doucet, P. McNeely, A. Munter

NAYS (3) D. Eastman, R. Chiarelli

 

The Committee then approved the recommendations of the staff report as amended by the foregoing Motions.


                                                                                                                

 

APPENDIX 1

 

To / Destinataire

ToThe Mayor and Members of Council

File/N° de fichier:  File Number

ACS2002-DEV-POL-0032