Household Use of Chemical Pesticides and Fertilizers

Chemical pesticide and fertilizer use in Canada has declined since 1994. In 2011, 15% of Canadian households with a lawn or garden used chemical pesticides compared to 31% in 1994. The largest decrease has occurred in Quebec, where household chemical pesticide use fell from 30% to 5%. Cosmetic pesticide bans in the majority of provinces have contributed to the drop in pesticide use between 1994 and 2011. The Prairie Provinces, led by Manitoba, remain the region where household use of chemical pesticides was the most widespread.

In 2011, 21% of Canadian households with a lawn or garden used chemical fertilizers, compared to 47% in 1994. The largest decreases occurred in Quebec and Ontario. Quebec households were the lowest users of chemical fertilizers in 2011. Households in the Prairie Provinces, led by Manitoba, were most likely to have used chemical fertilizer.

Percentage of households in Canada with a lawn or garden using chemical pesticides and fertilizers, 1994, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011

Percentage of households in Canada with a lawn or garden using chemical pesticides and fertilizers, 1994, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011

Long Description

The bar charts show the percentage of Canadian households with a lawn or garden using chemical pesticides and fertilizers in 1994, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011. Over this period, the percentage of households using chemical pesticides and fertilizers has decreased. Chemical pesticide use in 2011 was 15%, compared to 31% in 1995. In 2011, chemical fertilizer use was 21%, compared to 47% in 1994.

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How this indicator was calculated

Source: Statistics Canada (2013) Households and the Environment 2011. Statistics Canada (2011) Households and the Environment 2009, Catalogue No. 11-526-X. Statistics Canada (2009) Households and the Environment 2007, Catalogue No. 11-526-X. Statistics Canada (2008) Households and the Environment 2006, Catalogue No. 11 526-X. Statistics Canada (1995) Households and the Environment 1994, Catalogue No. 11-526.

Chemical pesticides are used by households to eliminate unwanted plants and insect pests to maintain a particular appearance of lawns and gardens. There are two general varieties of pesticide: natural pesticides, such as nematodes and ladybugs; and chemical pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, which are manufactured. Chemical pesticides can have negative effects on human and environmental health by contaminating air, water, soil and food sources. In addition to killing target insects, insecticides can kill other species beneficial to lawns and gardens. For example, insects are a source of food for many birds, but this food source can be contaminated or reduced by pesticides. Many municipalities and most provinces have, or are considering, laws restricting the use of pesticides in cities.

Fertilizers contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, and are added to lawns and gardens to make them greener and thicker. There are two general varieties of fertilizers: natural fertilizers like manure and compost; and chemical fertilizers, which are manufactured. If fertilizer is applied improperly, or in excess, these nutrients can run off into stormwater sewers and eventually reach lakes and rivers. When the amount of nutrients in a river or lake becomes too high, it can cause excessive growth of aquatic plants and algae.

Percentage of households with a lawn or garden using chemical pesticides and fertilizers by province, Canada, 1994 and 2011

Percentage of households with a lawn or garden using chemical pesticides and fertilizers by province, Canada, 1994 and 2011

Long Description

The bar charts show the percentage of households with a lawn or garden in each Canadian province using chemical pesticides and fertilizers for 1994 and 2011. Chemical pesticide use was higher in three provinces (Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrabor) in 2011 compared to 1994. Manitoba was the only province to have an increase in chemical fertilizer use from 1994 to 2011.

View data for this chart
How this indicator was calculated

Source: Statistics Canada (2013) Households and the Environment 2011. Statistics Canada (2011) Households and the Environment 2009, Catalogue No. 11-526-X. Statistics Canada (2009) Households and the Environment 2007, Catalogue No. 11-526-X. Statistics Canada (2008) Households and the Environment 2006, Catalogue No. 11 526-X. Statistics Canada (1995) Households and the Environment 1994, Catalogue No. 11-526.

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