A lush, thick lawn may be a dream come through for the average homeowner. Lawn care chemicals and fertilizers play an important part in this regard. In fact, the benefits of pesticides are easy to see. But did you ever stop to think about what these chemicals might be doing to the health of your family, pets, and the environment? Lawn care chemicals are highly effective in killing weeds and helping you grow a beautiful lawn over time. This article provides information on how toxic the chemicals are you use on your lawn.
There have been many recent news articles about the dangerous consequences of lawn care chemicals. The latest story is from Ohio where more than 50 school children in the area developed symptoms of poisoning after lawn care chemicals were spread near their school. On the other hand, Newsweek had another article where a professional skater claimed that her health was negatively affected after she was exposed to chemicals sprayed on her neighbor’s lawn. In fact, her dog died the same evening. You may see hundreds of such articles on the electronic and print media almost on a daily basis.
While most of these anecdotes are not scientifically proven, science is already catching up with the negative health effects of lawn care chemicals. In fact, study after study has revealed the link between lawn care chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides and nervous-system disorders, various cancers, and other illnesses. These dangers are quite acute when kids are affected. On the other hand, there is an overwhelming body of evidence of the damage caused to the environment due to synthetic fertilizers. So why are we dumping tons of these chemicals in our backyards year after year?
Each year, more than 100 million pounds of lawn care chemicals are dumped in homes and gardens across the United States each year. These hazardous chemicals contaminate indoor air and surfaces. Kids and pets are the most affected by these chemicals. The CDC or U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a nationwide study involving 9,282 people. This study found pesticides in the bloodstream of 100% people who had their blood and urine tested. In fact, the average individual carried 13 of the 23 pesticides tested.
Do Lawn Care Chemicals Pose A Health Risk To Humans?
The simple answer is yes. Lawn care chemicals are marketed under a wide variety of categories such as synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and pesticides. They are mostly used to kill insects, weeds, and diseases that affect the grass. Some of the popular formulations in the United States include organophosphates, phenoxy, carbamates, pyrethroids, MCPP, MCPA, organochlorines, and pyrethroids. These chemicals are used to kill pests and are considered broad-spectrum biocides – which means they are actually poisonous to a wide range of living organisms. They can negatively affect the health and well-being of the wildlife in your garden, garden plants, pets, your loved ones, and you.
There is enough evidence to link 19 of the 30 most commonly used lawn chemicals in the country to various cancers or carcinogenicity. On the other hand, 13 of these products are linked to birth defects while 21 products are responsible for causing reproductive effects over time. More than 26 of these 30 products can cause liver and kidney damage with regular exposure. Eleven chemical products are linked to the disruption of the endocrine system. Fifteen product cause neurotoxicity. The study went on to reveal that 17 of these common lawn care chemicals were detected in groundwater while 23 had the ability to get into the drinking water sources. That is why you should immediately rethink your strategy of using lawn care chemicals on your lawn. It does much more damage to you, your loved ones, pets, and the environment than doing good to your lawn. There are many organic options available from Springboro lawn care.
The poisonous effects of lawn care chemicals are usually absorbed through the skin or mouth. In fact, they can be absorbed as dust, vapors or breathing sprays. Your loved ones will absorb the poisons if they are present or apply the chemicals themselves. On the other hand, touching the contaminated grass, placing objects that were contaminated by the chemicals in your mouth, and placing the fingers in the mouth are some other ways of absorbing the poison. Kids and pets are at the highest risk for negative health effects from being exposed to these chemicals because their internal organs are not fully developed yet. On the other hand, children and pets play and roll on the grass where pesticide powders usually settle. That is why you need to be extra cautious of using lawn care chemicals in your backyard, especially if you have children and pets in your home.
Many homeowners think that lawn care chemicals are safe when they are dry. But this is a wrong assumption. In fact, lawn care chemicals could remain active for a month to a year most of the time. They can easily release toxic vapors during this period. You will be exposed to the negative effects of these poisonous vapors just by breathing them – even from neighborhood lawns while you are mowing the grass in the backyard. Then why is the US Government allowing such unsafe products on the market?
The U.S. Congress has already stated that more than 90% of the pesticides that are currently used lack safety tests required for registration. Yet, these products are sold and used by a majority of homeowners nationwide. That is why you need to rethink your strategy of using lawn care chemicals to beautify your lawn. Instead, you should opt for natural lawn care maintenance programs. There are many organic strategies that will help you achieve a healthy and pest-free landscape within a short time frame.
A lush green lawn is a dream of a majority of homeowners. But lawn care chemicals are not the best method of achieving such a lawn.