Evidence shows that a growing number of commonly purchased and applied pesticides can be harmful to both people and the environment. Part of the problem is the toxicity of the pesticides themselves, but an even greater factor is the sheer volume of pesticides people use, which ends up in our water, air and soil.
Who is Primarily responsible for Pesticide Problems?
Who applies all these chemicals? You might think that agriculture is primarily responsible for pesticide problems, but more than half of the pesticide-related toxicity in urban waterways is caused by residents, home gardeners, and pest control professionals who work in and around homes, schools, and businesses.
Our Water, Out World Program
The Our Water, Our World program was developed in 1997 by clean water agencies in response to pollution problems caused by two of the most commonly used residential pesticides, chlorpyrifos (Dursban) and diazinon. Both stormwater runoff and wastewater treatment plant discharge contain levels of these two pesticides high enough to kill organisms at the base of the aquatic food web. In fact, 85 water bodies in California are "listed" by the EPA as "impaired" due to diazinon.
As a sponsoring partner in the Our Water, Our World promotion, the NCSPPP provides local participating stores with fact sheets that describe less-toxic alternatives to control pests in and around the home and garden. Participating stores also use shelf talkers (below) to identify pest control products recommended for sale.