Caring for God's Creation: Called to be Stewards
part of the Episcopal Church, USA
a Resolution to Reduce the Use of Toxic Chemicals in the Care of Parish Buildings and Grounds
This resolution passed at the November 2002
Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.
A CALL TO REDUCE THE USE OF TOXIC CHEMICALS IN THE CARE OF PARISH BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS: Submitted by the Committee on Faith and the Environment and the Social Ministries/Public Policy Ministry Area
Resolved that this Convention call upon the Diocese of Massachusetts to evaluate the use of pesticides and other toxic chemicals for pest control in parish and Diocesan buildings and grounds and to institute the use of alternatives, recognizing that children are the population most susceptible to toxins; and be it further
Resolved that the Committee on Faith and Environment provide resources and support; and be it further
Resolved, that this Convention will call upon the General Convention of the National Church to urge congregations, dioceses, provinces and all church institutions to initiate a plan in the next triennium for the management of Church buildings and grounds that phases out the use of pesticides and other toxic chemicals to control pests and institutes the use of alternatives, recognizing that children are the population most susceptible to toxins.
A national consensus has developed that the common use of pesticides and other toxic chemicals has an adverse impact on the health of children as well as on adults who work in agricultural or other industries where such products are used.
An effective alternative to indiscriminate use of pesticides and other toxic chemicals in the maintenance and rehabilitation of buildings and grounds exists in the use of green practices and integrated pest management using biodegradable and non-toxic products. Integrated pest management (IPM) incorporates the idea that less dangerous synthetic pesticides will need to be used as a last resort. The objectives are to manage more aspects of the pest problem in systemic ways and to eliminate those substances posing the greatest risk of harm.
This resolution will position the Episcopal Church in solidarity with schools, municipalities, public health officials and citizen groups that are concerned with pesticides’ effects on the health of vulnerable populations and implementing institutional practices to control them.
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