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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 96, Issue 2, pp 89–92 | Cite as

Pesticides and Human Health

Why Public Health Officials Should Support a Ban on Non-essential Residential Use
  • Neil Arya
Commentary

Abstract

The College of Family Physicians of Ontario recently released a comprehensive report on pesticide exposure and health risk, concluding that various pesticides had adverse health effects. The pesticide industry says that pesticides are “safe” when used as directed because they are studied and approved by governmental agencies. Yet many municipalities, including Canada’s three largest, and the province of Quebec have enacted bans on cosmetic use of pesticides, largely in response to health concerns. Reviewing the report, the status of regulation of pesticides and the limitations of studies and of regulation in Canada, it appears that on the basis of evidence available to date, public health officials should support a ban on cosmetic use of pesticides.

MeSH terms

Pesticides environmental health public health legislation Canada toxicity 

Résumé

Le Collège des médecins de famille de l’Ontario a récemment publié un rapport détaillé sur l’exposition aux pesticides et sur les risques sur la santé. Ce rapport conclut que divers pesticides ont des effets nocifs sur la santé. L’industrie des pesticides maintient que les pesticides sont «sécuritaires» lorsqu’ils sont utilisés selon les instructions, car ils sont étudiés et approuvés par des organismes gouvernementaux. Pourtant, de nombreuses municipalités, dont les trois plus grandes au Canada, et la province de Québec interdisent l’utilisation des pesticides à des fins cosmétiques, principalement en réponse aux inquiétudes quant à leurs effets sur la santé. À la lumière du rapport, de l’état de la réglementation sur les pesticides et des limites des études et de la réglementation au Canada, et d’après les preuves disponibles jusqu’à maintenant, il semble que les responsables de la santé publique devraient se prononcer en faveur d’une interdiction de l’utilisation des pesticides à des fins purement cosmétiques.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environment and Resource StudiesUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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