Consumer group calls on local governments to stop using toxic chemicals on grounds and public parks

Jul 12, 2018

The Empire State Consumer Project has published its 2018 Government Pesticide Survey, highlighting the hazards of common pesticides used on local government properties.

President of the group, Judy Braiman, said through a freedom of information request, they received information from 31 municipalities on herbicide and insecticide use.

Braiman says many of the pesticides can cause cancer, birth defects and reproductive harm in humans.

And some insecticides used in towns and villages can cause bee colony collapse.

"If we don't have our pollinators, it effects our food supply.  And quite a few of these towns they don't know what they're using. They have no idea," she said.

Empire State Consumer project says local ball fields like this are being sprayed with toxic chemicals
Credit Empire State Consumer Project

Her group did find eighth local towns and villages that reported no pesticide use at all.

"So it can be done.  And why do we need a weed-free lawn?  This has its cost," she said.

Braiman says since 2010, school have been forced to provide pesticide-free grounds for students, staff and the public.

She says now it's time government follows suit as a matter of public health policy.

The Empire State Consumer Project is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to reducing the use of pesticides and other chemicals toxic to human and environmental health.