Action Alert: Stop the Use of Chlorpyrifos (Dursban) for Mosquitoes by the City of Edmonton

Pesticide Free Alberta is asking for your help to ask that the City of Edmonton stop spraying Chlorpyrifos for mosquitoes. To make this request, you can:

THEN, forward this Action Alert to five friends, and ask them to do the same? Why? Read on.

As you know, Pesticide Free Edmonton has been trying for well over a year to get some attention to how our city deals with mosquitoes. Some in our group have been trying for over a decade. Edmonton bought the remaining stock of Dursban from Winnipeg when the registration was to expire December 2014. Winnipeg’s entomologist said that this product is ineffective as it kills all the predators to the mosquito and the first thing to come back is the mosquito! Entomologists tell us where the city sprays this local species of dragonflies do lay their eggs. Edmonton is now the last municipality in Canada to use this for mosquitoes in Canada and from news reports North America when it was re-registered just for our use. Edmonton can use a safer alternative like Vectobac, a biological control, that other nearby municipalities use.

The city also applied this in at least one park repeatedly which goes against federal regulations and although we filed a report nothing was done. Ecojustice has written a letter to our mayor to ask if our city will follow regulations in the future but that isn’t enough to protect our children. See the letter in the attachment. See areas of applications for 2014 and areas of applications for 2015.

The insecticide is extremely harmful especially to children and persists for decades and moves long distances (it is found in the Arctic ice dating back to 1972). See the letter written to the US Environmental Protection Agency which outlines some of those concerns and is signed by 50 scientists in the attachment above.

The Office of the Auditor General of Canada recently did an audit of Health Canada’s Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency and found many disturbing things about how pesticides are registered in Canada. They found that this chemical, Chlorpyrifos (the active ingredient in Dursban and Pyrate, both used by Edmonton) has not been properly evaluated since it was first registered in 1969. This was initiated in 1999 when household products were immediately removed due to the concern to the harm to children, but was never completed. See Exhibit 1.4 of the Audit, or download the full report (PDF).

The city also sprays Pyrate which has the same insecticide, the same restrictions and the same concerns around the harm. Both Dursban and Pyrate will continue to be used unless we pressure our civic government to recognize how harmful this is and move on like other municipalities have done. Pyrate is sprayed on our city golf courses as well. People have no idea when and how they are being exposed and may suffer serious consequences down the road with illnesses such as Parkinson’s, leukemia or respiratory illnesses. The harm to children is serious and lifelong such as it was with these two children who had a known exposure to this. Dursban has been implicated in some of the largest lawsuits in regards to pesticides such as in this case where the family received $23.5 million.

The Canadian Association for Physicians (CAPE) and Prevent Cancer Now (PCN) also co-signed a letter that went to our Federal Minister of Health (see the attachment).

Will you help us protect our children?

Pesticide Free Alberta

PDF icon Letter from Ecojustice313.3 KB
PDF icon Letter to US EPA253.81 KB
File Letter from CAPE47.01 KB