NYC uses more pesticide than state farmers

Urban New York counties used more pesticide than rural counties last year, according to a report released by Environmental Advocates and the New York Public Interest Research Group.

The report, ‘Plagued by Pesticides – An Analysis of New York State’s 1997 Pesticide Use and Sales Data,’ shows that in 1997, a total of 16.7 million pounds and 2.4 million gallons of pesticides were applied by commercial applicators or sold to farmers for use on their crops in the New York State.

However, the data shows that more pesticides were used in downstate urban and suburban areas for pest control than for agricultural uses in rural and other upstate counties.

The report shows that across the state, agricultural use is lower than non-agricultural use, with New York (Manhattan), Kings (Brooklyn), Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties using the most pesticides.

In certain areas of the State, such as the western and Hudson River Valley farming areas, agricultural pesticide use is dominant.

The report asserts that New York State relies heavily on toxic pesticides, despite the availability of non-toxic alternatives and least-toxic strategies for most pest problems.

Water monitoring studies show pesticide contamination is a major problem in New York State, with contamination paralleling pesticide use patterns. The report recommends the banning of pesticides whose toxicological properties make them high risk; the implementing of studies to introduce non-toxic alternatives; an increase in public access to pesticide reporting data and the taxing of pesticide sales to fund pesticide programs.

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