Pesticide worries are justified

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A recent editorial in the Cochrane Eagle (“Should the town ban pesticides?” June 29) hits the mark. Residents are understandably concerned about the non-essential application of chemical pesticides. Peer-reviewed epidemiological studies tell us that exposure to pesticides is associated with increased risk of adverse neurological and reproductive outcomes that are particularly significant for children, pregnant women and newborns. According to science-based evidence, adverse health impacts include increased risks of low birth weight and pre-term births in babies, deficits in cognitive and motor development in children, hormonal (endocrine) disruption, learning disabilities and other developmental deficits. While a provincial law restricting the sale and cosmetic use of higher-risk pesticides is ultimately desirable, municipalities themselves have jurisdiction to act in the absence of such legislation. Information on best practices is readily available. Adopting common-sense restrictions that favour the use of only the safest pesticides, where needed, would be a great step for Cochrane to take to protect the health of children in the community. Randall McQuaker Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment

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