New Pesticide Regulations For a Healthier Nova Scotia

December 6, 2010

Nova Scotia property owners and lawn-care providers can plan ahead for next year now that new regulations, released today, Dec. 6, clarify when they can buy and use pesticides.

“These regulations support legislation that will help protect the health of Nova Scotians,” said Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau. “We are making it easier for the people of this province to limit their exposure to unnecessary chemicals.”

The Exceptions to Prohibitions on Non-essential Pesticides Regulations follow legislation restricting the use of non-essential pesticides in Nova Scotia, passed in May.

The legislation applies to lawn care and ornamental plants on residential, commercial, government and institutional properties such as hospitals, long-terms care facilities, schools, parks, and recreational facilities.

Forestry, agriculture (including home vegetable and fruit gardens) and golf courses are exempt.

The regulations are accompanied by a list of allowable pesticides, which includes those considered to pose a reduced risk to humans and the environment.

The sale and use of pesticides not on the list will be prohibited on lawns as of April 1, 2011. The legislation will extend to ornamental shrubs, flowers and trees on April 1, 2012.

The regulations outline when pesticides not on the allowable list may be used on lawns and ornamental gardens.

This includes controlling insects, plants and fungus that may be a health concern (such as European Fire Ant), be poisonous to the touch (poison ivy), be an invasive species (Japanese Knotweed) and cause structural damage to buildings (carpenter ants).

Such pesticides will be available at stores with vendors certified by the Department of Environment.

These pesticides must be placed in closed cabinets that are not publically accessible. Purchasers will receive information about the legal uses of excepted pesticide.

The Department of Environment will conduct a public education program to help Nova Scotians switch to healthy lawn and landscaping practices.

The new legislation comes after extensive public consultations and support from the Canadian Cancer Society, Doctors Nova Scotia, and the I.W.K. Health Centre for rules to reduce health risks.

“There are many uses for pesticides and each use needs to be looked at from a risk-versus-benefit perspective,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Nova Scotia.
“In regard to cosmetic purposes, there are safe and healthy alternative methods available to achieve the same result.”

Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and P.E.I. have restricted the use and sale of non-essential pesticides. Nova Scotia’s list of allowable pesticides is based on Ontario’s and the Canadian General Standards Board’s lists.