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November 14, 2013

Pesticides benched at Doubleday Field

(Continued)

“We just had National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, and people wore pink to show their concern, which is all well and good,” Whaling said. “But in addition to being concerned we should be doing something about it. Lawn chemicals and turf chemicals are known to be carcinogens, yet we continue to use them for aesthetic purposes.”

The new integrated pest management practices being used at Doubleday include using entomopathogenic nematodes as a biological control of white grubs, officials said.

Some environmentalists have been pushing for a government ban on “cosmetic” pesticides that have been prohibited in the Canadian province of Ontario since April 2009.

The Office of the Ontario Ministry of Health said this year: “We have listened to medical experts – like the Canadian Cancer Society – who have made a convincing case for reducing our exposure to pesticides, particularly children who are generally more susceptible to the potential toxic effects of pesticides.”

The ban there overrides municipal pesticide bylaws, establishing what Ontario officials called one clear set of rules that makes it easier for businesses to follow.

Health experts have linked exposure to pesticides not only to cancer but also to behavioral impairment, reproductive dysfunction, endocrine disruption, developmental disabilities, ADHD, Autism, skin conditions, Parkinson’s Syndrome, respiratory diseases such as asthma and learning disabilities..

In June, Katz succeeded in convincing the state Department of Transportation to suspend the application of chemical herbicides along a stretch of State Route 80 that runs along the west bank of Otsego Lake. That move had been recommended by the Otsego Lake Watershed Advisory Committee, but the state agency initially resisted it.

DOT officials have said they would not rule out resuming herbicide applications at a later date.

In a statement released to The Daily Star in June, DOT Regional Director Jack Williams stated: “The department maintains that the use of herbicides, in general, and Accord XRT II in particular along this corridor, is an acceptable risk, based on the application method and best practices.”

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