Ray Salomone, Personal Trainer and Wellness Activist
While I have been impressed with several of the recent initiative taken by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene under the direction of the new Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, I was very disappointed at their response to my inquiry into the continued spraying of poisonous pesticides in Central Park.
After being bounced through several functionaries and having them read verbatim from the internet, this is the official response I received, via email.
I’m following up for Jessica Scaperotti. Here’s the information you requested.
The City ofNew Yorkprohibits the use of certain pesticides on government owned property under Local Law 37, a law passed by the City Council and signed by the Mayor in 2005. TheCentral ParkConservancy (CPC) complies with prohibitions and reporting requirements, and was active in posting signage and information about herbicides before the creation of Local Law 37.CPChas greatly decreased the use of pesticides in the park through the use of creative solutions such as Clove Oil, an organic substance that controls weeds. For more information, please contact theCPCoffice.
Pesticides that contain carcinogens or reproductive hazards, as defined by theU.S.EPA and the State ofCalifornia’s Proposition 65, respectively, are prohibited without a waiver from the Health Department. Recently, the only waivers provided to the Parks Department were for the control of Asian Longhorn Beetles (applied inside the bark of trees, posing no exposure risk to people) and for the use of some pre-emergents/herbicides in areas that do not include lawns and play areas.
Regarding Roundup – this product is not prohibited. For more information on its use, contact the Parks Department orCPC.
Data about the use of pesticides by city agencies is available on the Health Department’s website. The latest report is for 2008, please see link below –http://nyc.gov/health/ll37
What disappoints me most is that it seems they are more than willing to tackle the sexy issues of the day like soda and cigarettes, but they have no backbone to go after an issue just as deadly, but perhaps more difficult to fight. But that’s why I’m here.
Pesticides harm in a slow, insidious and torturous way. Kids get cancer, women suffer miscarriages and others give birth to babies with birth defects.