First, as you probably have noticed, the Spring fertilizer applications have begun, even as we’re hit with another snowstorm!
Did you know that most early spring fertilizer applications also contain pre-emergent weed killer?
After walking their children to school last Wednesday, a couple of neighbors and one of our Safe Grow Montgomery members watched a pesticide applicator spread a granule substance on the grass of two homes near the elementary school. When he didn’t post a sign, they asked what he was applying. He assured them it was just fertilizer (19-0-5, the ratio of nutrients), and that it was safe for them and the dogs they had on leash. But as they passed the back of his truck, they saw the open bag of product called The Andersons 19-0-5 Fertilizer with .28% Barricade pre emergent herbicide. The EPA use label for this product warns “hazard to humans and domestic animals,” including warnings against inhalation or skin contact.
This was very disturbing because either the applicator was lying or he didn’t know what he was applying. Both scenarios are dangerous because the result was that families who walk along that sidewalk had no way to avoid, or even know that the granule that could have been stuck in sneaker treads or puppy paws would bring toxic dust into their homes.
As long as lawn chemicals are applied, there will be exposure. It is unfair to make citizens assume this exposure risk, especially given the research showing how dangerous exposure can be, and when there are other safe and effective ways to maintain turf.
And speaking of research, we want to tell you about a newly published NIH-funded study by doctors at Mt. Sinai and Harvard. Additional pesticides were identified as toxic to brain development and the human nervous system, including glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup. Please read the attached brief description of the study, which also links directly to the study. This new study is significant not only for linking more pesticides to neurodevelopmental disorders like autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments, but because it points out the weaknesses and outdated methods of testing chemicals for EPA approval.
The American Academy of Pediatrics Position on Pesticides, November 26, 2012, “Policy Statement – Pesticide Exposure in Children” http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/6/e1757.full.pdf
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Committee Opinion, Number 575, October 2013, “Exposure to Toxic Environmental Agents” http://www.acog.org/Resources_And_Publications/Committee_Opinions/Committee_on_Health_Care_for_Underserved_Women/Exposure_to_Toxic_Environmental_Agents
Thank you for reading this,
Safe Grow Montgomery Coalition