Thoughts on urban use pesticides
In Quebec, according to current data, sales of domestic pesticides, that is, those used by private individuals, rose by almost 600% between the end of the 1970s and the start of the 1990s, and by 60% between 1992 and 1996. This development, which is the result of a keen interest in landscape maintenance and ornamental horticulture on the part of the public, is also a source of concern for many members of the public, as well as for public health authorities. This memorandum offers a brief overview of current knowledge on the health effects of urban use pesticides and suggests ways to ensure that pesticides are used rationally and safely.
Some of the health risks associated with urban use pesticides remain poorly understood due to the fact that few studies have focused on urban uses. However, the data derived from the literature on the potential effects of certain pesticides which are widely used in landscape maintenance justify a more prudent, rational approach to pesticide use, as well as for reductions in overall use. Mechanisms to inform the public about health risks and pesticide alternatives are also needed. Finally, knowledge development is another important goal, so that the risks and health effects of urban use pesticides can be measured more accurately.