FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Safe Grow Montgomery Asks for the Passage of a Healthy Lawn Bill 52-14. in Montgomery County, MD. Montgomery County Council vote on this bill is Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 9:30 am.

Contact:

Alex Zeineddin| info@safegrowmontgomery.org| 202 360-7166

GAITHERSBURG MD, October 1, 2015

 

Safe Grow Montgomery and its more than 40 non-profit and business partners are asking the Montgomery County Council in Maryland to pass the original strong healthy lawn Bill 52-14 on Tuesday October 6, 2015 that includes prohibiting the nonessential use of lawn care pesticides on parks, playing fields, and both public and private property. Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner, seconded by Councilmember Nancy Floreen, amended the original Bill 52-14 at the Transportation and Environment Committee session September 17th to exclude private property.

Safe Grow Montgomery is pushing for the original Bill 52-14 to be re-introduced October 6th because excluding private property leaves so many vulnerable to unnecessary exposure on a typical day from March through November. The original Bill 52-14 aims to protect public health and the environment by stopping the non-essential use of harmful lawn pesticides on county-owned and private property.

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded in March 2015 that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the widely used herbicide Roundup, is a probable cause of cancer in humans. http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/iarcnews/pdf/MonographVolume112.pdf

This determination adds to the mounting research that chemicals used in lawn care pose unacceptable health risks and should not be used throughout Montgomery County. Many toxic chemicals used in lawn care are linked to numerous adverse health effects including cancer, birth defects, asthma, and ADD. Children, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems are particularly vulnerable to adverse health impacts.

Over 40 partner organizations joined Safe Grow Montgomery in support of the original more protective Bill 52-14.

In a letter supporting Bill 52-14 CASA de Maryland’s Alma Couverthie, Director of Welcome Centers and Education stated: “CASA de Maryland supports the further restrictions on the use of cosmetic lawn pesticides throughout Montgomery County. Reducing the use of cosmetic pesticides is a social justice issue: it will benefit those who have little to no say over what chemicals they and their families are exposed to on a regular basis. On a typical day 15-20 day laborers are employed for landscaping just in Montgomery County alone.”

“Sierra Club Maryland applauds those County Councilmembers who will vote to fully protect our families and our environment,” says David O’Leary, Sierra Club Maryland’s Conservation chair. “This bill is a significant step forward in preventing exposure to chemicals that run-off and drift from their application site, causing involuntary poisoning of children and pets, polluting local water bodies such as the Chesapeake Bay, and leading to widespread declines of honey bees and other pollinators.”

72% of the correspondence to Montgomery County Council supports the strong original Bill 52-14. If Bill 52-14 passes, Montgomery County will be the first County in the US to restrict the nonessential use of lawn pesticides in order to protect health.

Safe Grow Montgomery volunteers will be available for interviews before the Bill 52-14 vote on Tuesday, October 6th 8:45 am, outside Montgomery County Council Chambers, 3rd floor, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850.

 

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