The Dangers of Lawn Care Chemicals
Growing a lush, thick lawn is something of a suburban quest or a neighborly challenge for some. And field owners and mangers know that a well-kept field not only results in safer, better playing conditions, it is a source of pride for the home team.
Either way, it’s all too easy to reach for a packaged solution—lawn care chemicals.
While lawn chemicals are quite effective at helping to establish a beautiful lawn or pristine playing field, studies are continually showing that lawn chemicals are neither safe nor necessary, and they are doing more harm than good to our health and the health of the environment.
What are lawn care chemicals?
Lawn care chemicals can be fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fumigants, fungicides, insecticides, repellents, weed and feed combos, or any other chemicals that promise to make the earth a more beautiful place while slowly destroying it. According to the CDC, over one billion pounds of pesticides were used last year.
How do lawn care chemicals affect the environment?
Lawn care chemicals contribute to the pollution our streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes. When the excess nutrients from fertilizer runs off into waterways they cause algae blooms, which remove oxygen from the water creating “dead zones” where aquatic life can’t survive.
Do lawn care chemicals pose a health threat to humans?
Yes. Most lawn care chemicals have been shown to be toxic to humans. Of the 30 most commonly used pesticides, 26 have been linked with liver or kidney damage and 19 have been linked with cancer. The CDC also notes that nearly 100,000 pesticide poisoning exposures are reported each year in the United States.
How are humans exposed to lawn care chemicals?
Of those same 30 chemicals, 17 are detected in groundwater and 23 have the ability to leach into drinking water sources. They can also by eating unwashed crops that have been sprayed or fish that have been swimming in them. Lawn care chemicals can also be absorbed through the skin or by breathing sprays, dusts, or vapors.
Is there an alternative to lawn care chemicals?
Yes! The solution is artificial turf! Artificial turf fields, lawns, and landscapes eliminate the need for lawn care chemicals entirely.