Americans today have been so conditioned to reach for chemical solutions to get rid of weeds and pests in their lawns that they have neglected to take into account the dangers and risks to family, pets and the environment by using these products.
We are bombarded with aggressive advertising campaigns and flashy packaging to reach for these products as a solution to our lawn problems. However, the dangers and risks are rarely if ever mentioned. Even though government regulations require manufactures to disclose health risks due to exposure of these chemicals, like respiratory or skin irritations, they do not warn of serious or long term health effects due to prolonged exposure.
Risk to Children
Children are especially vulnerable because their small bodies take on a greater concentration of absorption. They are also susceptible to the effects of these poisons as their bodies are still growing and developing. Since children are often playing in these chemically treated environments they have a higher exposure rate through absorption of chemicals through skin as well as putting unwashed hands in their mouth.
Risk to Pests
Similar to children, pets also are at high risk of exposure to pesticides. They have a smaller body mass and are also playing and rolling around in these chemically treated areas. Additionally, they are grooming themselves and playing with exposed toys increasing ingestion of chemicals.
A National Cancer institute study has shown that dogs whose owners have treated their lawns with 2,4-D herbicide products four or more times per year are twice as likely to contract canine lymphoma. Another study by Perdue University School of Veterinary Medicine showed an increase in the risk of bladder cancer by 4 to 7 times in dogs exposed to herbicides in lawns.
Go to Safer Pest Control Project for a factsheet on Pests and Pesticides for more information.
Other Individuals that are Highly Vulnerable to Pesticides:
- Pregnant Women
- People with Asthma
- People with Allergies or Chemical Sensitivities
Risk to Your Lawn
Although these chemicals may temporarily alleviate your lawn problems, they will actually compromise your lawn health. These poisons cause stress to your turf, damaging grass plants and killing beneficial soil microbiology that your lawn needs to fend off many funguses and insects.
Risks to the Environment
The poisons in pesticides ultimately run off with rain into lakes, rivers and ground water. These poisons are also often ingested by birds, fish and wild life that live and feed in our environment causing health issues and death.
Through the practice of natural lawn care, you can still have a healthy and beautiful lawn without putting your family’s and the environments health at risk.