Pesticides bug me, and it looks like I am not alone. On April 11, Cuyahoga County Council passed a comprehensive ordinance banning pesticides on all county-owned properties. Because pesticides are toxic chemicals that are ubiquitous in our environment, the decision to reduce this burden is heroic. Councilmembers Julian Rogers (Cleveland Heights) and Sunny Simon (South Euclid) spearheaded the effort.
Their leadership serves as an example to other Ohio officials that public health is always a priority and that safer pest and land management can work. Of 30 commonly used lawn pesticides, 19 are linked to cancer, 15 are linked to birth defects, 15 to neurotoxicity and 11 to endocrine system disruption. Last year, for the sake of children’s health, New York and Connecticut banned pesticides from all school grounds and playing fields. For the same reason, Cleveland Heights banned pesticides on all city, school, library and daycare center grounds. Recent reports from Cornell and Harvard universities demonstrate that transitioning to organic lawn-care practices saves money and produces healthier, disease-resistant turf when compared to chemical-based programs.