Oakland Pesticide Use: Learn More

Oakland Pesticide Use: Learn More

The City of Oakland banned the use of pesticides on city-owned property in 1997 with its Integrated Pest Management (IPM) policy. Now there’s a proposal to employ herbicides in the Wildfire Prevention District in the Oakland hills. Median strips, playing field construction, and numerous other exceptions have already been carved out of the IPM.

“Pro-Safety/Anti-Pesticide Coalition” has formed under the leadership ofStopToxicTrespass.org and including groups such as East Bay Pesticide Alert, the Cancer Prevention Coalition, Enviromental Health Network and the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides. The coalition is calling on Oakland to maintain its ban on pesticides.

The pesticides in question are Glyphosate (Roundup) and Triclopyr (Garlon). East Bay Pesticide Alert reports that Roundup is associated with the increased frequency of liver tumors in male rats and thyroid cancer in female rats; that it is a reproductive toxicant, is toxic to fish and aquatic organisms, and is highly persistent in soil; that Garlon is associated with respiratory problems, tremors and kidney damage, skeletal deformities, genetic damage to plants, and reduction in moss and lichen diversity; and that EPA calls Garlon very mobile in soil, with the potential to leach into groundwater. See the EBPA site for details.

The resolution will be presented at the City Council Public Works Committee meeting on Tuesday, March 8, at 12:30, Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room One. Please TAKE ACTION and tell City Councilmember and Public Works Committee Chair Nancy Nadel to vote against using pesticides in the Oakland hills.

This issue does not affect Oakland alone. With municipalities from Livermore to Richmond making strides in reducing the use of toxins, to have a city of Oakland’s size and progressive reputation turn back to the use of pesticides sends the wrong message around the Bay.

For more information, see the websites of East Bay Pesticide Alert and the “Pro-Safety/Anti-Pesticide Coalition”Read the draft text of the proposed exemptions to Oakland’s IPM Ordinance.

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