ORGANIC SOLUTIONS FOR LAWN CARE
The organic solution to lawn care will not be found in a bottle at the nearest convenience store. Likewise, the organic solution to lawn care will not promise an instant fix. Instead, the organic solution takes time and it takes persistence. There are organic lawn care companies who are committed to natural lawn care. This may not be as convenient as a synthetic solution, but read on to discover the price we all pay for synthetic convenience.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about 80 million U.S. households dump nearly 90 million pounds of herbicides and pesticides on their lawns every year. In fact, while the use of commercial and agricultural pesticides has decreased in recent years through the implementation of wise-use practice and regulation, the use of pesticides on lawns has increased. Given that, lawn care is as much of a danger to our health and the environment as conventional agriculture is.
The exposure to many of the herbicides/pesticides found in lawn chemicals has been linked to cancer or carcinogenicity, birth defects, reproductive effects, liver or kidney damage, neurotoxicity and disruption of the endocrine (hormonal) system. In addition, many of these chemicals have been detected in groundwater and have the ability to leach into drinking water sources.
These chemicals can be absorbed through the skin, by the mouth, or by breathing sprays, dusts, or vapors. You or your children can be exposed if you apply or are present during application of the chemical. Also if you touch contaminated grass, shoes, clothing, lawn furniture, etc., or put contaminated objects (toys, golf tees, blades of grass etc.) or fingers in the mouth. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in a study of 9,282 people nationwide, found pesticides in 100% of the people who had both blood and urine tested. The average person carried 13 of 23 pesticides tested.
The dangers don’t end outside. Lawn chemicals get tracked indoors, often onto surfaces where kids play. In fact, a recent study of indoor air pollutants revealed that the chemical 2,4-D, one of the most common herbicides used in weed and feed products, was found in 63% of homes.
Children are at higher risk for health effects from exposure to pesticides than adults because their internal organs are still developing and maturing. Children are often more exposed to pesticides than are adults because they play or crawl on grass or floors where pesticide powders and granules normally settle.
Like small children, pets can’t read the “Keep Off—Pesticide Application” signs on your lawn or your neighbor’s. A study revealed that exposure to lawns treated with herbicides four or more times a year doubled a dog’s risk of canine lymphoma, while the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association reported that, when exposed to chemically treated lawns, some breeds of dogs were four to seven times more likely to suffer from bladder cancer.
The widespread use of herbicides and pesticides poses a threat to all of us, even those who don’t use them. Pesticides and herbicides can and do leach into private and public wells and water supplies and unfortunately, there currently is no program to monitor our drinking water for this type of contamination.
The EPA makes no claims to protect us from these harmful chemicals. In fact, it is a violation of federal law to label any pesticides as “safe”, “harmless”, or “non-toxic to humans or pets”. The US Congress states, 90% of pesticides in current use lack health and safety tests required for registration, yet they continue to be sold and used. Of the most widely used products on lawns, most are lacking health and safety data required for registration.
Does that mean you must give up your quest to have a green lawn where you, the kids, and the dog can frolic carefree? Not at all! Following an organic lawn care plan can give you exactly what you seek. You (and your neighbors) will be surprised to see you can have a thick, lush lawn without toxic treatments.
For an Organic Solution for Lawn Care, Main Street provides an 8-application program which provides Organic Fertilization & Weed Control for your lawn.
To understand more about pesticide use and organic solutions, here are some additional resources: