March/April 2014 Newsletter:

Grow a Safe Lawn

By Laurel Hopwood, Chair, Human Health & Environment Committee

It’s that time of the year again. You’ll be hearing from lawn care companies who want your business.

Did you know … Lawn care companies who claim their synthetic products are “safe” can be prosecuted for this false and misleading claim?

Did you know … You are potentially poisoning family and neighbors by allowing pesticides to be used on your property? Pesticides attach to dust particles and enter homes via open windows.

Did you know … A one time exposure in a child, called the “window of opportunity,” can cause irreversible long-term changes?

It doesn’t matter if these pesticides (which kill weeds, insects and fungus) are in spray or granular form. It doesn’t matter if a company applies or if you apply. What matters is that these artificial chemicals are poisons.

Could pesticides kill you outright? Very improbable. But it’s possible that exposure can cause changes at the cellular level within our bodies. Health risks of exposure include cancer, neurological problems, birth defects, immune system suppression, learning disorders and more. Acute responses tend to get passed off as the flu, allergy, or stress. Chronic effects, from cumulative, repeated, low dose exposure, may show up years later, when it is impossible to connect cause and effect.

So what can you do? Nothing, except mow the lawn. Celebrate the biodiversity. Allow bees, which are dying, to proliferate and pollinate. How about growing edibles and/or plants which encourage pollination? Organize a street event where residents share what they’ve grown. That is community and caring for the Earth.