Reducing Pesticide Use in Edmonton

May 14, 2009 - 7:00pm

Spring has sprung in Edmonton and the concern for lawn maintenance and weed control is a growing concern for residents. However, too many residents are turning towards harmful pesticides as an answer. The Canadian Cancer Society (Alberta and North West Territories division) has partnered with Pesticide-Free Edmonton in hopes to create awareness about alternative weed control options and establish a ban on cosmetic use of pesticides in Edmonton.

Why is pesticide use in Edmonton an issue?

Roughly 87% of Albertans support a pesticide-free law. Despite this support, pesticide use has increased in the province to from 36% in 1994 to 39% in 2005 (Canadian Cancer Society). A pesticide ban in the city of Edmonton would eliminate the use of cosmetic use of pesticides within city limits and reduce the risk of: non-Hodgkin lymphoma, adult and childhood leukemia, brain, kidney, pancreatic, prostate, and some lung cancers. Citizens have the right to be aware of the associated risks related to cancer-causing products in their community that they are often unaware of.

Developing a ban within the city would decrease the use of pesticides, thus reducing the risk of cancer in our city. Following the ban in Québec, pesticide usage decreased by half and is anticipated to continue to decrease (Canadian Cancer Society).

By following the precautionary principal, we are eliminating the risk pesticides pose to our children, family, friends and pets.

What are we fighting for?

We are calling for a ban on the use of cosmetic, non-essential and ornamental pesticides that are applied to private and public lawns to reduce to reduce the harmful effects in our community. This includes lawns and gardens, recreations facilities, school grounds, daycare sites and a phase-out of use on golf courses.

We hope to achieve this through

  • Effective communication
  • Collaboration
  • Public awareness and education
  • Promote alternative options
  • Advocating with municipal governments for policy change


The use of cosmetic/ornamental pesticides on private lawns and gardens has no countervailing health benefit and the potential for harm exists. We believe that appropriate action should be taken to limit the risk to human health. This is especially true when the reason for using pesticides on lawns is to prevent weeds and plants that can be removed in other potentially less damaging ways.

Please join us for a discussion with leaders in health promotion and advocates for reducing pesticide use in Edmonton on how we can make a difference together. Please also join our mailing list to stay up-to-date on our current activities. All Welcome!

Thursday, May 14 at 1:00.

For more information please contact Karlee Stevens (Canadian Cancer Society) at [email protected] or 780-455-7181. Visit for more information on pesticide use.


Child Health Clinic, Mother Rosalie Health Services Centre
231—16930 87 Avenue NW Edmonton