Lawn chemicals can be harmful to environment

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: April 7 2014 | 1:55 pm - Updated: 8 April 2014 | 8:06 am in

Itís spring and a good time to remember that lawn chemicals, such as 2,4, d and other herbicides, are carcinogens and neurotoxins, are dispersed in the air and tracked into homes where they are absorbed by children and pets.

Studies have shown that lawn chemicals stay on the turf 30 to 60 days and that even if one house on the block sprays, toxins are found in the carpets and furniture of neighboring homes.

In humans, these herbicides can disrupt immunity systems, endocrine glands, and reproductive organs, and cause such illnesses as non-hodgkins lymphoma, soft tissue carcinoma, decreased thyroid and testosterone levels, lowered sperm count, nerve damage, birth defects and breast cancer.

As for lawns, these chemicals deplete the soil and create a druglike dependency. Often, herbicide-treated lawns burn out more frequently because violets and clovers, herbs, and other grasses and flowers and microorganisms, killed by these compounds, provide diversity that is needed to sustain growth.

For growing plain grass, the old ways are best, including seeding, composting, thatching, hand weeding, using corn gluten to limit weeds, and diversifying.

Brandon Ross

Iowa City

 

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