The following letter was sent to selected members of the St. Louis Board of Alderman including all members of the Board’s Parks and Environment Committee. This is the start of the St. Louis No Spray Coalition’s effort to get the City to enact a No Spray ordinance similar to the ones passed in New York City, Philadelphia and 130+ other cities in the USA and Canada.
St. Louis No Spray Coalition was able to get records of the city’s use of pesticides in its parks and public spaces after a protracted battle using Missouri’s Sunshine Law (our equivalent of the Freedom of Information Act). It revealed an extensive list of toxic chemicals used by the city. Anyone who wants to see this data should contact me at my personal email address or the one listed at the end of this message. This information is being released publicly and it can (and should) be copied and shared widely.
Dear Alderwoman _____:
The St. Louis No Spray Coalition works to make citizens of St. Louis City and County aware of the growing body of evidence in scientific literature showing that pesticide exposure can adversely affect endocrine, neurological, immune, and respiratory systems in humans, even at very low levels. Children are especially sensitive and vulnerable to pesticide exposure.We want citizens to know that Parks and Forestry Department in both the City and County regularly spray pesticides to control weeds and insects.
Cities across the USA and the world are discovering that they can control unwanted vegetation without resorting to dangerous chemicals which poison citizens and expose municipalities to costly lawsuits. Our goal is to discuss with the St. Louis Board of Alderman and the St. Louis County Council legislation to BAN chemical pesticide sprays on parks, playgrounds, school yards, roadways and other public areas in the City and County. St. Louis City and County need to avoid liability for the use of pesticides in their parks and public spaces and show genuine concern for people — especially employees who work as groundskeepers — who have experienced health crises as a result of spraying pesticides. Local governments should work to protect park user’s and park employees’ health by enacting policies that use non-toxic methods of weed and pest control. Over 130 cities in the USA have already enacted these types of “No Spray” ordinances.
Would you be willing to help protect the health of St. Louisans from toxic pesticide sprays? This would ban chemical sprays and encourage the use of safe and effective weed and insect control. We are requesting a meeting with you, at your convenience, to discuss sponsoring or cosponsoring a No Spray bill in the St. Louis Board of Alderman.
We are attaching records we obtained from the City of St. Louis disclosing herbicides used on parks and public spaces in response to a Sunshine Law request. These records reveal a toxic brew of chemicals used for weed control in the City in recent years, including:
- 850 gallons of Roundup Pro Concentrate, a compound which has been determined to cause cancer
- 180 lbs of Treflan, a pre-emergent herbicide whose active ingredient (Trifluralin) is listed as “possible carcinogen” by the EPA and has been shown by sources to be highly persistent and toxic to aquatic organisms
- 335 gallons of Resolute. an herbicide whose active ingredient (prodiamine) was listed as a “possible carcinogen” by the EPA in 2002
We also have copies of model No Spray legislation from reputable environmental organizations and copies of No Spray ordinances passed in other US cities that we can provide to you upon request.
A former employee of St. Louis’s Department of Parks’ Forestry Division won a settlement from Bayer earlier this year from a lawsuit connecting his cancer to his exposure to Roundup while working for the City agency. The plaintiff, Earl Neal, brought one of over 130,000 similar cases in which people sued Bayer, which bought Monsanto in 2018, contending that their illness was caused by spraying the Roundup herbicide, Monsanto’s flagship product. We need this legislation in St. Louis City and County to protect the health of employees and park visitors. We can’t afford to wait until more come down with cancer. Please contact us as soon as your are able.
Daniel “digger” Romano (Landline: 314-771-8576)
Barbara Chicherio (Landline: 314-727-8554)
St. Louis No Spray Coalition