June 29, 2011

KEEP OFF MY LAWN, chemicals!

Photo by Deadly the Gnome

This is one time I say no to green, darn it.

Green, as in, the color. I mean, what’s wrong with the occasional splash of purple (my favorite color) or yellow? As in this patch of my non-conformist front lawn:

And, if one has to treat their lawn with chemicals in order to maintain an “acceptable” green lawn, how is that a good thing? Consider these facts from BeyondPesticides.org:

*  Of 30 commonly used lawn pesticides 19 have studies pointing toward carcinogens, 13 are linked with birth defects, 21 with reproductive effects, 15 with neurotoxicity, 26 with liver or kidney damage, 27 are sensitizers and/or irritants, and 11 have the potential to disrupt the endocrine (hormonal) system.

*  Children take in more pesticides relative to body weight than adults and have developing organ systems that make them more vulnerable and less able to detoxify toxins.

*  Exposure to home and garden pesticides can increase a child’s likelihood of developing asthma.

*  Studies link pesticides with hyperactivity, developmental delays, behavioral disorders, and motor dysfunction.

*  Of 30 commonly used lawn pesticides, 17 are detected in groundwater, and 23 have the potential to leach.

*  Runoff has resulted in a widespread presence of pesticides in streams and groundwater. 2,4-D, found in weed and feed and other lawn products, is the herbicide most frequently detected in streams and shallow ground water from urban lawns.

*  Of the 50 chemicals on EPA’s list of unregulated drinking water contaminants, several are lawn chemicals including herbicides diazinon, diuron, naphthalene, and various triazines such as atrazine.

*  Runoff from synthetic chemical fertilizers pollutes streams and lakes and causes algae blooms, depleted oxygen and damage to aquatic life.

What convinced me even more was the documentary film, A Chemical Reaction. Here’s the trailer:

One of the nation’s leading experts on organic lawn care.

After becoming seriously ill with acute pesticide sensitivity from applying chemical lawn products in his own lawn care business, Paul Tukey became an outspoken advocate for alternatives to chemical lawn care.  He travels across the country lecturing on the subject and has written the nation’s leading book on organic lawn care titled, The Organic Lawn Care Manual.

A Chemical Reaction follows his journey that leads to the doorstep of Hudson, Quebec. It’s an inspiring story of overcoming great odds and demonstrates the power of people coming together to effect great change in our society.

Paul founded SafeLawns.org in 2006. Its mission is to create a broad-based coalition of non- and for-profit organizations committed to educating society about the benefits of environmentally responsible lawn care and gardening, and effect a quantum change in consumer and industry behavior. Visit their site to view their free how-to organic lawn care videos. For more information, go to SafeLawns.org.

While the neighbors may be whispering about our lawn of weeds, I stand firm. And I’m happy to say I can do so barefoot.

For more startling facts about lawn care…

Click here.

* Originally published on my I Count for myEARTH blog.

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