Beyond Pesticides Supports Maryland County's Landmark Lawn Ordinance Introduced Today to Protect Human Health and the Environment

Oct 28, 2014, 15:25 ET from Beyond Pesticides

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A landmark ordinance to protect children, pets, wildlife, and the wider environment from the hazards of unnecessary lawn and landscape pesticide use was introduced today in Montgomery County, Maryland by County Council Vice President George Leventhal, chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. Bill 52-14 is based upon growing concerns in the community of the health risks associated with exposure to pesticides, and creates a safe space for residents in Montgomery County by prohibiting the use of non-essential land care pesticides on both public and private property.

Introduction of this ordinance follows successful lawn pesticide regulations on private and public property in the City of Takoma Park in Montgomery County, and provides equal safeguards for human health and the environment. Similar cosmetic pesticide policies have been in place in Canadian provinces for many years. Unfortunately, most U.S. jurisdictions are unable to enact these same basic safeguards for their citizens. Private property restrictions are only possible in seven states which do not preempt local governments from enacting protections from pesticides that are stricter than state laws.

Bill 52-14, co-sponsored by Councilmember Marc Elrich and stewarded by Safe Grow Montgomery, a coalition of individual volunteers, organizations and businesses, represents the latest in a growing movement to prevent exposure to chemicals that run-off, drift, and volatilize from their application site, causing involuntary poisoning of children and pets, and polluting local water bodies such as the Chesapeake Bay.

"Like restrictions on smoking in public areas, this ordinance is a common-sense approach to regulating toxic products that have been linked to numerous adverse human health impacts," said Jay Feldman, executive director of the national nonprofit group Beyond Pesticides. "Given widespread availability of organic methods to manage pests and weeds, toxic chemicals simply aren't necessary for beautiful lawns and landscapes."

Of 30 commonly used lawn pesticides, 17 are possible and/or known carcinogens,  18 have the potential to disrupt the endocrine (hormonal) system, 19 are linked to reproductive effects and sexual dysfunction, 11 have been linked to birth defects, 14 are neurotoxic, 24 can cause kidney or liver damage, and 25 are sensitizers and/or irritants.

Beyond Pesticides strongly encourages passage of Bill 52-14 by the Montgomery County Council, which would put the County on the forefront of health and environmental sustainability efforts.

Contact: Jay Feldman

SOURCE Beyond Pesticides