The Dangers of Lawn ChemicalsSome information below is courtesy of www.beyondpesticides.org.
The world is rapidly changing and with it are perspectives on the use of toxic lawn chemicals and the hazards they pose to our children, families, neighbors, wildlife, and drinking water sources.
Public concern over the potential hazards associated with chemical lawn care products and services has been on a steady rise. And with good reason. Some 100 million pounds of pesticides are used by homeowners in homes and gardens each year, even more when commercial companies are added in. Suburban lawns and gardens are known to receive far heavier pesticide applications per acre than most other land areas in the U.S., including agricultural areas.
Studies show that these hazardous lawn chemicals are drifting into our homes where they contaminate indoor air and surfaces, exposing children at levels ten times higher than pre-application levels.
Of 30 commonly used lawn pesticides, 19 are linked with cancer or carcinogenicity, 13 are linked with birth defects, 21 with reproductive effects, 26 with liver or kidney damage, 15 with neurotoxicity, and 11 with disruption of the endocrine (hormonal) system.
Of those same 30 lawn pesticides, 17 are detected in groundwater, 23 have the ability to leach into drinking water sources, 24 are toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms vital to our ecosystem, 11 are toxic to bees, and 16 are toxic to birds.
Ideally, determine first if you really need to use a control. If so, determine if it can be done by changing to a different mower height, using less or more irrigation, draining wet areas, or altering other cultural practices. Investigate mechanical means (digging, removing, covering) of achieving your desired results. Search the Web for alternatives to chemical pesticides.
Use lawn chemicals wisely, and only if you have to. Instructions are printed on the container or come with the product, follow them exactly. Share unneeded product with a family member or neighbor or dispose of it at the Household Toxic Waste Collection. Do not allow any product to enter the storm drains, they drain directly into the creek.
Integrated pest management (IPM) is an
strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests and pest
damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control,
habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of
resistant varieties. Pesticides are used only after monitoring indicates
they are needed according to established guidelines, and treatments are
made with the goal of removing only the target organism. Pest control
materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risks to
human health, beneficial and nontarget organisms, and the environment.
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