Not allowed on the grass, not in the fields – The Sherbrooke Times

Photo FOTOLIA Ten companies have been fine by Health Canada for applied banned pesticides on lawns, private.

Anne Caroline Desplanques

Tuesday, 8 August, 2017 06:30

UPDATE Tuesday, 8 August, 2017 06:30

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Pesticides are still allowed in agricultural areas, even if 10 companies that have applied to lawns come to be fine.

The two products in question are chlorpyrifos and diazinon, two of the most powerful insecticides capable of destroying ants, spiders or bed bugs the most resistant. Considered hazardous to health, they are prohibited for residential use since 2003 and 2005.

It is the old chemistry. It is very effective, but the level of risk to the health, it is considered that this is not acceptable , says Pierre-Olivier Duval, of the compliance program of Health Canadas pest management.

Least expensive

The two products are dangerous poisons known to disrupt the nervous system in humans and animal species. They are especially harmful for young children, whose nervous system is in full development.

The team of inspectors from Mr. Duval has yet found the trace in 10 businesses that maintain lawns family in Mirabel, Saint-Eustache and Saint-Jrme, in particular.

Very effective, these products are however less expensive than those allowed in the residential sector, supports M Duval.

They therefore allow companies not looking to reduce their costs and ensure good results, explains the expert. The maintenance of the lawns, it is a highly competitive industry, he said. Customers are demanding.

Easy access

This is not an excuse to derogate from the rule, growls Philippe Caissie, technical director of Weed Man lawn care. One of the franchisees of his company, Weed Man Laurentides-Lanaudire, had to pay $ 4,000 in fines to Health Canada.

This is not a common practice, says Mr. Caissie. And this is not something that has been done at a large scale, he insists.

It remains that the chlorpyrifos and diazinon have nothing contraband rare. Although withdrawn from the residential market, they remain easy to access, since they are both allowed and commonly used in the agricultural sector.


Called upon to justify this two-speed regulation, Mr. Duval explains that, in the fields, the rules are very strict.

In the field, no one walks not on four legs, like a child might do on a lawn. There is a withdrawal period between the application and harvest, to protect the health , explains the expert from Health Canada.

This does not, however, prevent the pesticides used in agriculture contaminate the environment and thus have an indirect impact on human and animal health, according to environmentalists.

In march, of the analyses carried out for the account of quiterre have also shown the presence of the pesticide atrazine in the drinking water of Montreal. Although authorized by Health Canada, this product is known to prevent the normal development of a fetus in pregnant women who are exposed to them.

Of green lawns and green

Achieve a manicured lawn without toxic chemicals is now perfectly possible, ensure the specialists in horticulture.

Pesticides should be used as a last resort and it is possible to have a beautiful lawn like that, says Mlanie Langlais, of the Association of services in horticulture in Quebec (ASHQ).

Langlais explained that with good ventilation, by leaving the clippings after mowing, the soil, uprooting the weeds and rensemenant the damaged areas, excellent results are obtained.

A healthy lawn can withstand the presence of a number of parasites without too many drawbacks. So, please, be tolerant, help only when pests and diseases have really put the health of the lawn at risk , full Management of the scientific institutions of the City of Montreal.


If the lawn is healthy, predators and parasites that attack the enemies of the plants will have time to put in the work without you having to intervene, says the organization in its guide for ecological lawn care.

But if the infestation of weeds or insects is really out of control, we find more and more of low-impact pesticides and biopesticides on the market. Unfortunately, they are still more expensive than their competitors, toxic, says Langlais.

It is, however, convinced that the growing demand for these products will drive prices down.

There are more and more municipalities, including Montreal, which prohibit the use of pesticides, so people have no other choice than to adapt , she said.

Two poisons

Source : Sage pesticides

The 10 companies sanctioned

Source : health canada

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Not allowed on the grass, not in the fields - The Sherbrooke Times

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