nl-dandelions-220

Groups in Newfoundland and Labrador are calling for cosmetic pesticides to be banned. ((CBC))

Opponents of pesticide use hope Newfoundland and Labrador's new environment minister will help push through a ban on the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides.

Cancer, reproductive issues and neurological disorders are some of the health affects that may be linked to pesticide exposure.

John Ridgely, of Mount Pearl, believes chemicals on a neighbours lawn caused him to have an allergic reaction.

"My throat started closing. Found it difficult to breathe," he said. "It was very frightening and very scary."

Ridgely also developed a rash. He sent pictures of it to every city councillor in Mount Pearl.

"If you took a blow torch and burned my chest that might describe it," he said.

The Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides has been calling for the ban in Newfoundland and Labrador for many years.

Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador, the Cancer Society, the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association and other organizations had been asking the former minister of Environment and Conservation, Charlene Johnson, for a ban since 2009.

Ross Wiseman became the Environment minister in a cabinet shuffle last month.

"I don't want to put a day or a week on it, but I appreciate the length of time this has been in the public domain and discussed," Wiseman said. "I appreciate too that there's an upcoming summer a time when these pesticides are used." 

He said he hopes to bring forward a recommendation to cabinet in the very near future.

Newfoundland and Labrador is the only Atlantic province that hasn't banned the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides.