Why the "Perfect" Lawn Isn't Always Better for Your Kids

So now is the time that we all start preparing our gardens and lawns for the spring.  We all want to keep those lawns looking nice and green and keep those pesky bugs out of our rose bushes.  It is no surprise then that I received a newsletter from a our local nursery making a few suggestions.  Now is the time it says to "make your first application of granular pre-emergent weed control" fertilizer to the lawn.   It also suggests that you consider adding a "liquid or granular insecticide which is applied at the base of trees and shrubs." Before making a mad dash to the Home Depot to pick up that weed-killing fertilizer for the lawn and bug killers for our gardens, it is important to think about what else these products do.

My garden without chemicals--despite my black thumb.
The information sheet for one of the leading makers of a weed control product says,

"Harmful if swallowed. Do not inhale dust. Do not allow contact with skin, eyes or clothing. When using this product, wear long-sleeved shirt, long pants, socks and shoes.  After using this product, remove clothing and launder separately before reuse, and promptly and thoroughly wash hand and exposed skin with soap and water." 

The label for a granular insecticide says, "Depending upon concentrations encountered, wear coveralls or long-sleeved uniform and head covering. For larger exposures as in the case of spills, wear full body cover barrier suit, such as a PVC suit."

A PVC suit, really?

The same label says to keep out of sewer systems, lakes, ponds, etc and to keep out of reach of children. 

This stuff is obviously highly toxic.  You need not worry because this stuff stays outside right?  Not really.  When it rains, where does this insecticide end up?  In the sewer system, in your local ponds, and lakes.  Where else? On your shoes as you bring it into the house.  On your kids hands when they play outside.   At their schools when they go out for recess -- how else do they keep the school grounds looking so nice and pretty?

But I am just the crazy health lady.  And I guess that the American Academy of Pediatrics is pretty crazy too.  Late last year they produced a report that warns about the effects of pesticides on children.

"Prenatal and early childhood exposure to pesticides is associated with pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function and behavioral problems."

Maybe I am not that crazy after all.  

Further Reading:
Harmful Effects of Fertilizing
How to Kill Weeds Organically?

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