by CBC News
OTTAWA - Canadians can continue to spray the
popular garden herbicide 2,4-D, the country's pesticide regulator
said on Monday.
Some environmentalists have said the herbicide is linked to cancer,
noting there are chemical-free ways to keep lawns and gardens
After a scientific review, Canada's Pest Management Regulatory
Agency concluded 2,4-D is safe to use against weeds on lawn and
turf if sprayers heed the label instructions on the product and
use the herbicide at its lowest effective rate.
"The PMRA understands that the public may have concerns
over domestic uses of pesticides and would like to convey that
all registered pesticides undergo a thorough science-based risk
assessment," the agency said in a release.
The agency said its assessment gave special consideration to
the risks faced by pregnant women and by children, who may accidentally
ingest the herbicide while playing on treated grass.
As part of an ongoing re-evaluation, PMRA reviews pesticides
currently on the market that were registered before Jan. 1, 1995.
The review aims to ensure pesticides meet today's health and
No evidence was found to back allegations that 2,4-D could cause
cancer or harm aquatic life, PMRA said.
More than 60 municipalities across Canada have banned the cosmetic
use of pesticides, citing possible harmful effects on people and
The herbicide, formally known as 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid,
is manufactured by several chemical companies.
The agency's final decision on whether to ban 2,4-D is expected
later this year. Before then, it may decide to limit the number
of times per year that an entire lawn can be sprayed.
Canadians are invited to comment on the agency's review.