Posted on June 10th, 2021
Could Your Lawn Chemicals Be Poisonous – Picture the scene: summer is here, and it’s a great day for a family barbecue. The kids are playing rough and tumble on the lawn with their friends while the family pets are in on the action. It’s the American dream – quality time with your loved ones, unwinding outdoors in your own home on the weekend.
Turf Unlimited loves nothing more than a well-maintained, natural grass lawn. We take great pride in providing that service to many American families nowadays, though you can’t be too careful when it comes to protecting your loved ones.
Evidence is mounting that the over-use of pesticides and herbicides in residential lawn care is linked to various illnesses, including cancer and nervous system disorders. We tackle these challenging issues here so that we keep our customers informed and safe as well. So let’s get some of the facts about lawn care chemicals straight and explore some safer alternatives that can put your mind at ease before the next family barbecue.
The use of pesticides and herbicides in American residential areas has been steadily increasing over the years. Trying to keep up with the Joneses and having the best lawn on the street has honestly never been more toxic for you and your family.
The dangers of lawn chemicals have been public knowledge since numerous reports have been published linking the use of pesticides and cancer in pets. However, herbicides in dog’s urine were all the proof needed to connect it to the evidence of a significant increase in bladder cancer for dogs.
The stories of children showing side-effects of poisoning from pesticides used on school fields and pets dying after showing similar symptoms are too horrific and numerous to go into too much detail. Save to say that caution is advised and that using professional lawn care chemicals as endorsed and used by Turf Unlimited is strongly encouraged.
Most lawn care chemicals contain ‘Agent Orange’ – the same deadly chemical that killed so many American soldiers in Vietnam. The specific chemical compound is 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), and you must check the label on the products you use to ensure that you do not take this home with you.
The dangers of lawn chemicals can also be understood by examining their overuse. For example, nitrogen is great for plant growth, so nitrogen-rich fertilizers often get dumped on a lawn in volumes far exceeding the recommended amounts. This has been linked with ‘blue baby syndrome’ or methemoglobinemia. As the name suggests, infants become starved of oxygen until they’re blue in the face, leading to coma and even death.
If this sounds alarmist, we have ocean ‘dead zones’ to look to as environmental proof that oxygen depletion in our waters is caused by the nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from the pesticide-laden soil. This is called ‘eutrophication’: the algae in the water is stimulated to such an extent by the pesticides that it consumes the oxygen. And this is happening in our wells, lakes, and drinking water countrywide.
Pets often eat grass to aid their digestion, or they will roll in the chemicals and then lick their fur. Children can also absorb these nasty chemicals through the skin, and studies show that the substances are dangerously toxic and present for up to 48 hours after being used.
When applied with a sprayer, it is also easy for these toxins to be inhaled. Professional lawn care chemicals as used by a licensed pesticide applicator are the safest route to take. Do not let your children or pets on the lawn until it has rained or the product has been watered correctly.
Visible signs that your pet may have had contact with these chemicals may include mange and ‘hot spots.’ Children are likely to show signs of a rash or an allergic reaction. Keep your garden shed locked – and throw out any mystery chemical bottles that look suspicious!
Washing your children and pets when they come in from playing outside (or perhaps at a neighbor’s house or a lawn area that you can’t trust) is an excellent place to start. For your well-maintained lawn, there are plenty of organic lawn care products to choose.
Using professional lawn care chemicals as recommended by Turf Unlimited will provide you with peace of mind that you are doing your best in your backyard – for your family at least. It’s also a good idea to look at the tick and flea sprays you use on your pets, as these often contain the same dangerous chemicals.
Compost and bone meal makes excellent natural fertilizer, and corn gluten can get rid of weeds. Vinegar with an acetic acid content of 20% is also great for fighting weeds. After all, we don’t want to give up fighting for our right to have a beautiful all-natural, all-American lawn too soon!
Synthetic lawns are also increasingly popular as an option that is safe for family and furry friends. They are non-toxic and don’t require any watering. Turf Unlimited can assist with a quote and installation of artificial turf too.
The true dangers of lawn chemicals involve coming to terms with the fact that there are other lawns in your neighborhood where your children or pets can come into contact with toxic pesticides. Doing the best you can by becoming informed and making intelligent consumer choices for your home is the first step. Spreading the word to those around you is next.
Turf Unlimited is here to help you make the best choice possible regarding keeping your lawn thick and green over summer – while also keeping your loved ones safe. Our trusted lawn care professionals are just a phone call away.