Despite banning carcinogenic pesticides in 2005, New York City agencies still use thousands of pounds each year

Danger Poison sign
Public Domain Wikimedia

New York City banned pesticides suspected of causing cancer in 2005 with Local Law 37, but 10 years later it looks like city agencies are still spraying thousands of pounds of pesticides linked to cancer (such as Anvil 10+10, which contains piperonyl butoxide, is listed as a possible human carcinogen by the EPA). The situation isn't quite black or white, as some of these pesticides which we thought had been banned but are now exempted are used to mitigate other risks like the insect-borne West Nile virus, which can cause febrile illness, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). Yikes.

Mosquito photoWikipedia/Public Domain

According to reports from the city, here's how much of the potentially carcinogenic pesticides are being used by city agencies:

In 2013, the latest year for which data has been released, the city applied 25,000 pounds of solid pesticides that constituted Local Law 37 exemptions, accounting for almost a quarter of the total 111,000 pounds of solid pesticides reported in the latest report. In addition, 1,900 gallons of exempted liquid pesticides were applied, representing over a quarter of total liquids used. Reports dating back to 2007 reveal similar patterns. Despite a trend of decreasing pesticide use by city agencies since reporting began, these prohibited classes do not appear to be declining.(source)

Where is all that going? Hard to say exactly, but a likely major target is probably golf courses, which were granted a blanket exemption under the anti-pesticide law...

Golf gearkulicki/CC BY 2.0

Via CityLimits

Tags: New York City | Pesticides

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