The Environment in Focus
Back in 2015, Montgomery County, Maryland, became one of a growing number of local governments across the country to restrict the use of pesticides in lawn care. The weed killer RoundUp and other pesticides have been linked to health risks in humans and sharp declines in populations of Monarch butterflies, bees, and other pollinators around the world.George Leventhal, a Montgomery County Councilman, was the lead sponsor of the lawn pesticide ban. He remembers the arguments made by local parents.“We had mothers of asthmatic children who were having asthma attacks when their neighbors were applying pesticide spray,” Leventhal said. “The spray would carry in the wind, and would trigger asthma, chemical allergy, multiple chemical sensitivity -- and there is no need to use these toxic chemicals on your lawn.”The county’s prohibition in October of that year came seven months after the World Health Organization, in March of 2015, labelled RoundUp’s active ingredient, glyphosate, a probable human carcinogen.But the pesticide manufacturing industry sued the county. And a judge in August of 2017 sided with the industry, striking down a portion of the county ban that applied to private lawns – although not to public property, such as playgrounds and county parks.
The Environment in Focus
Republicans in U.S. House Vote for a Ban on Bans of Pesticides
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