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Beginning in 2015, Manitoba will introduce a ban on the sale and use of synthetic lawn pesticides.

Gord Mackintosh, conservation and water stewardship minister, said the ban will apply to home lawns, driveways, sidewalks, patios, school grounds, playing fields, and playgrounds. Agricultural lands, golf courses, and sod farms will be exempt.

The ban comes into effect for the 2015 season, but a one-year grace period will be given to homeowners. The penalties for use and the definition of the type of lawns that will be covered are still to be determined. However, Manitobans will be able to use low-risk non-synthetic alternative herbicides for their lawns.

“Medical experts are clear synthetic chemical lawn pesticides pose risks to human health, especially in the early stages of life, and to pets as well,” Mackintosh told the Winnipeg Free Press. “We must reduce these products where they are not needed.”

There are more than 170 Canadian municipalities that already have a ban, according to CBC News Online. If approved, Manitoba will join seven other provinces in banning synthetic chemical pesticides.

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