City council will debate whether to ban cosmetic pesticides from all lawns within Kamloops in two weeks.
Coun. Donovan Cavers gave a notice of motion for the prohibition Tuesday afternoon, not long after council heard from a representative of the Canadian Cancer Society, which is lobbying for pesticide bans across the country.
Cavers’s motion says the ban would “prohibit the use of cosmetic pesticides on all lawns within municipal boundaries as of Jan. 1, 2013.”
It also calls for the City to provide residents with a list of less hazardous pesticides that would be allowable.
It will be brought forward for discussion on June 25.
Jerilynn Maki, health promotion co-ordinator for the Canadian Cancer Society in the Southern Interior, told council more than 100 studies have linked pesticide exposure to various cancers, including leukemia, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, brain, kidney, prostate and pancreatic cancers.
“We want a prohibit on cosmetic pesticides.”
Children are particularly vulnerable, she said.
"Cancers develop as people get older,” she said.
“From our society's point of view, we're requesting strong legislation that would allow municipal governments to still have pesticide bylaws.”
The society is supported in its anti-pesticide efforts by such groups as the B.C. Lung Association, Greenpeace, David Suzuki Foundation, Canadian Institute for Child Health, Interior Health, the Canadian Medical Association and the pediatric department at the University of B.C.’s medical school.
In addition to cancer, pesticides can cause learning disabilities, birth defects and acute chemical sensitivities, said Maki.
Plus there are impacts on the environment and wildlife.
"We see it as an unnecessary risk. We don't believe its necessary to apply these chemicals."
While Kamloops has pesticide restrictions, and only allows licenced applicators to use them, it’s still more use than the cancer society would like, she said.
Maki said the society would like Kamloops to be on a list with other B.C. cities that have banned all cosmetic pesticides.
"Any use is not necessary. It doesn't matter if its used to the manufacturer’s instructions, these chemicals are still being used. We're saying don't use them."
Council voted to send a letter of thanks to Maki for her presentation.