An Inconvenient Lawn

In 1984 Dr. June Irwin, a dermatologist in Hudson, Quebec, Canada who also owns an 80 acre farm where she raises chickens, sheep and geese, concluded there was a connection between the symptoms she was seeing in her patients and the herbicides and pesticides used in lawns. Her patients even had traces of lawn care chemicals in their blood. That's when she began her letter writting campaign to alert the newspapers, town meetings and other government agencies of her concerns over the severe health risks and unknown side effects on the environment.

Her devotion to the cause resulted in a 1991 bylaw banning the residential use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes in Hudon. Two major chemical lawn care companies, Chemlawn and Spray-Tech, filed suit against Hudson arguing they did not have the authority to institute such a ban. Both the Quebec Supreme Court and the Quebec Court of Appeals upheld the bylaw which banned pesticides.

The entire province of Quebec also enacted a ban and Home Depot doesn't stock those products. A quick look at homedepot.ca and I couldn't turn up any.

That story will now be part of a documentary by Paul Tukey of SafeLawns.org and filmaker Brett Plymale titled "Hudson: A Chemical Reaction" which is scheduled to hit the independant film festival circuit this year.
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