Dangers of pesticides used in urban areas and why councils should go pesticide-free

Pesticides are commonly used in urban areas to control pests, but they can also pose a number of health risks to humans and the environment.

Dangers of pesticides used in urban areas and why councils should go pesticide-free

Did you know that pesticides aren’t just used in agriculture? A wide range of different pesticides (including insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and rodenticides) are used in our towns and cities. In fact, other than residues in food, one of the most common ways for the majority of people in the UK to be exposed to pesticides is through spending time in urban, public areas.

Health risks to humans and environment

  • Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world. A study shows that councils and their contractors used over 61,000 kilograms of this chemical to control weeds in our urban spaces in 2016.
  • Local councils are the main users, spraying pesticides in parks, playgrounds and other green spaces, road verges, cemeteries, pavements and around council houses.
  • In a UK-wide survey (dated 26th April 2018), there were a reported 38 different types of pesticide used in the towns and cities of the UK. The majority of these pesticides are herbicides, some of which are classified as probable or possible carcinogens, but the list also includes fungicides, insecticides and growth regulators. Every day we are exposed to a cocktail of chemicals and nobody knows what impact this consistent low level exposure to a mixture of chemicals is having on us.

What you can do: Support the 'Pesticide-Free Towns' campaign.

Take a moment to reach out to your local councillors, informing them about the risks pesticides pose to both people and wildlife. Encourage them to join our pesticide-free pledge.

Become a campaigner. Be part of the growing Pesticide-Free Towns movement and leave a lasting legacy for your local area which protects people and the environment.

By taking action, you can help to protect your health, the environment, and the future of our communities.

Source: Pesticide-Free Towns Campaign https://www.pan-uk.org/pesticide-free/

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