Northern Exposure counts the thousands of Canadians that have suffered from acute poisoning from pesticides. The report is a wake-up call to federal and provincial governments to take action to protect Canadians from the dangers of pesticides.
Pesticides are among the most widely used chemicals in the world. More than 6,000 Canadians are acutely poisoned by pesticides each year, resulting in calls to poison control centres, visits to emergency wards, and hospitalizations. These severe poisonings occur after exposure to only a single dose of pesticide — through inhalation, eating, drinking, or direct contact with eyes or skin; and produce acute health effects such as irritation and/or damage to the eyes, skin, gastrointestinal tract, nervous system, respiratory system, cardiovascular system, liver, kidneys, and blood.
Despite these findings, the federal government still fails to monitor exposure to pesticides and these resulting health effects. In an effort to bridge this information gap, Northern Exposure offers a series of recommendations that propose real, workable solutions to reduce the risks of pesticide poisoning in Canada.
This report, published in June 2007, complements the The Food We Eat, a comparative study of international pesticide regulations published in October 2006.