Citizen scientists, enviro groups battle industry over pesticide risks
The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer earlier this year concluded the active ingredient in Roundup, a popular weed killer, probably causes cancer. Monsanto, which manufactures Roundup, contested the findings.
Pesticide exposure risks to the public were also reported in the summer of 2014, when CBS Newshighlighted concerns that common pesticides can linger in bodies for years, perhaps even decades. Emerging scientific evidence also shows that toxic pesticides can harm the brain and the nervous system and may be a factor in certain developmental and behavioral problems.
Citizen scientists, grassroots environmental groups and public health groups are battling chemical industry-sponsored lobbying to strengthen protections against toxic pesticide exposures. Earlier this summer, Connecticut banned toxic lawn pesticides in and around public playgrounds and is requiring more integrated pest management to reduce pesticide use on state property. Reno, Nevada is running a pesticide-free pilot program for its parks and open spaces. Several Chicago suburbs are encouraging homeowners to eliminate chemical use in their yards and gardens, and Montgomery County, Maryland (outside Washington, DC) has an ordinance pending that would prohibit the use of unnecessary lawn chemicals in public parks and private yards.