March 17, 2010

Impact of lawn chemicals unnoticed by landowners

As I walk through my Portland neighborhood, I\'m always stunned by how many people still use herbicides and pesticides to give their lawn the look of a golf course.

I\'m guessing most people simply aren\'t aware that they\'re spreading poison – not only on their own little parcel, but also directly into Back Cove every time it rains.

Despite the lawn care industry\'s powerful PR efforts, there are no \"good\" pesticides or herbicides.

These toxins are designed to kill – or interrupt – natural processes, making them especially hazardous for kids and pets. Even low doses have been linked to cancers such as leukemia and non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Dogs exposed to lawn herbicides are four to seven times more likely to develop bladder cancer, studies show.

One of my pesticide-using neighbors is a doctor with small children. I have to assume she has no idea of the dangers. My guess is that most people just hire a lawn care company and look the other way.

I doubt many of the people who use pesticides feel passionately about them. Maybe we can win them over by example – by planting beautiful, toxin-free flowers and plants in our own yards.

We need to brag about our chemical-free approach, to show what\'s possible. I\'ve created some free \"safe zone\" lawn signs and posted them online at asavetheworldthing.com.

Some cities have already banned pesticides and herbicides. That might be the next step for Portland. But until then, let\'s start voluntarily winding down the age of the poisonous lawn.

Matt Power

Portland

 

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)