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Pesticides pose a serious risk to your health, to the Chesapeake Bay and local waterways, and to wildlife. Pesticide exposure has been linked to birth defects, fertility problems, and diseases such as autism, ADHD and cancer, as well as to the development of intersex fish and a decline in honeybee populations. Unfortunately, researchers lack the information they need about pesticide use.
A January 2014 report from The Maryland Pesticide Reporting and Information Workgroup found that there are data gaps about pesticide use. Scientists say that professional pesticide applicators, including farmers and lawn care companies, need to make their pesticide use information available to public health and environmental researchers.
Researchers and environmental officials could use this data to identify – or rule out – any possible links between harms to public health, aquatic life and honeybees to specific pesticides. From there, we can take action to educate the pesticide applicators (who are also at risk), advocate for safer options, and limit our families’ exposure to unsafe chemicals.
A 2014 General Assembly bill (HB 621/SB 700) would establish a dedicated fund for a pesticide reporting database through a modest $10 increase on the annual product registration fee paid by pesticide chemical manufacturers. The generated revenue would be used for collecting, analyzing, and reporting data on pesticide use in the state.
We need to push the Governor O’Malley Administration and the Maryland General Assembly to pass this bill as it would be a significant first step toward a comprehensive, mandatory reporting pesticide use database. The battle is far from won on the issue of pesticides and to continue making progress, we need your help. If you support a pesticide-use reporting database in Maryland, please sign our petition now.
If you’re concerned about pesticides, make sure you sign up so we can keep you informed, and hold our elected officials accountable. — Sign up here.
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Maryland Pesticide Network
544 Epping Forest Rd.
Annapolis, MD 21401
1209 N. Calvert St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
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