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hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments, but because it points out the weaknesses and outdated methods of testing chemicals for EPA approval.

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/newsletter/2014/3/science-neurotox/file642628.pdf

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

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  • Andy Chisarick

    says on:
    April 20, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    The pesticide companies KNOW their products are harmful. (I’m a professional landscaper, working with and for TruGreen, etc, for 35 years.) They literally LAUGH at the gullibility of the homeowners that sign their contracts. A brief history of this plant and bug genocide: First, the parent company (Monsanto I believe) assured us that Agent Orange was “just a defoliant.” It killed unknown thousands of Vietnamese, and killed and sickened tens of thousands of US servicemen. (The US Government knew the truth, and helped Monsanto cover it up for decades.) When the war ended, Monsanto made a conscious decision to replace the lost business by taking over the USA, one suburban lawn at a time. Few if any of their chemicals were ever tested, and ChemLawn was born (eventually changing their name to TruGreen, quadrupling business.) Today, their salespeople go through rigorous, weeks-long training, while pesticide applicators are thrown into the field the day they are hired. What can we do? They own umpteen congressmen and lobbyists, so I don’t know, but for a start the state should supply free seed to all homeowners- make it 75% grass, 25% clover, the way our lawns EVOLVED TO BE back in the 1960s and 70s (when Monsanto was distracted by the war.) The clover bloomed beautifully all year long, thick enough to choke out most weeds, it sustained our nearly extinct bees- no need for chemicals at all, and anyway EVERY weed blooms in one way or another, and many lawn “weeds” are beautiful. When did plain dark green become the new beautiful? Why won’t we be happy until every single plant species in an area the size of New York state (the area treated each year) is extinct- except for plain green grass? Not to mention the beneficial bugs that are dying one species at a time. How sad- humans are, indeed, the scourge of the planet, and the chemical companies are guilty of purposeful plant-and-bug genocide that is also killing THOUSANDS of people of cancer- slowly but surely- and it will continue as long as homeowners allow it.

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