April 19, 2004

Toronto pesticide bylaw comes into effect

TORONTO, ONT-The first phase of Toronto's new pesticide bylaw came into effect on April 1. Passed by city council in May 2003, the bylaw significantly restricts pesticide use on public and private property. It does, however, permit the use of products that pose little or no health or environmental risks. The first phase of the bylaw focuses on public education, encouraging residents to go pesticide-free with the message, "It's perfectly natural." Toronto Public Health is distributing brochures on the bylaw and natural lawn care tips to childcare centres, schools, hospitals, libraries and retailers to promote healthy lawn care choices. Survey data indicate that 62% of Toronto residents do not use pesticides on their property. "Toronto is joining more than 66 other cities and municipalities across Canada that have chosen to make their communities safer and healthier for all residents by implementing pesticide bylaws," said Dr Barbara Yaffe, the city's acting Medical Officer of Health. More information on the bylaw is available by calling 416/338-7600 or on Toronto's Web site, www.toronto.ca/pesticides.
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