On Friday, July 1st, Baltimore City’s law restricting the use of certain pesticides, including chlorpyrifos, neonicotinoids, and glyphosate, took effect.
The application of either chlorpyrifos or glyphosate is prohibited on public and private property, with some emergency use exceptions. Likewise, neonicotinoids may not be applied on city-owned property, with certain exceptions. The Maryland Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) described the potentially detrimental impacts of each regulated pesticide in a press release:
- Glyphosate is the main chemical ingredient in RoundUp. According to the World Health Organization, glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen.
- Neonicotinoid pesticides, often called neonics, may harm public health, bees and other pollinators.
- Even low-level exposure to the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos can cause developmental delays, brain damage and behavioral problems in children.
To preserve public health and the environment, Baltimore City passed Council Bill #20-0495, an omnibus bill regulating the sale and application of pesticides, in November of 2020. The bill also included a delayed implementation date of July 1st, 2022, for its pesticide application restrictions. According to WYPR, Montgomery County enacted a similar pesticide ban in 2015, whereas the state passed a neonicotinoid sales ban that took effect in 2018.