The Society strongly supports for a ban on pesticides used to improve the appearance of green spaces. The cosmetic use of pesticides provides no health benefit and may cause harm.
The precautionary principle
The evidence about pesticides and cancer is not definite, but some research studies show a stronger link between some types of pesticides and cancers. Our position is based on the precautionary principle, which states, “When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause-and-effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.” (If something may cause harm to humans or the environment, we should be cautious even if the link is not definite yet.) The Society supports the use of safer ways to maintain and improve the appearance of lawns, gardens, parks and other green spaces but does not support the use of Integrated Pest Management for cosmetic purposes.
Golf courses and sporting facilities
The Society wants the use of pesticides to be phased out at golf courses and sports facilities, especially where children often are, or if they are located next to residential and public areas.
Pesticides should be used as the last option, in the smallest possible amount and only where needed to make a place usable. People should stay away from treated areas for at least 48 hours after the last amount of pesticide is applied.
Home fruit and vegetable gardens
The use of pesticides in home or personal fruit and vegetable gardens should also be phased out. Although the pesticides you use at home may be milder than those used for agriculture, and you may use them less often, there is still risk.
In the agriculture business, there are usually more rules in place to reduce exposure, such as training for people who apply pesticides to properly use equipment that protects them, plans to reduce residue levels and pesticide drift, and rules to limit access to sprayed areas.