Letters to the Editor

Lawn chemicals harmful to environment

We take it for granted that the use of lead paint, asbestos insulation and mercury fillings are health hazards to be avoided. Likewise, herbicides in lawn chemicals pose grave dangers.

The poisons that kill violets, clovers and dandelions effect soil microbes, kill earthworms, are ingested by squirrels, birds, pets, deer, bees, fish and other wild life. The poisons can be found in our drinking water. In people, these poisons can cause cancer, nerve damage and endocrine and reproductive disorders. And those most susceptible are children.

Studies have found that our brains are vulnerable to these chemicals, especially during fetal and early childhood development and that exposure to garden chemicals can increase the risk of childhood leukemia sevenfold.

Despite the 24-hour signage, these poisons can be found on lawns for as long as two months and one study found that a week after lawn treatment, 2, 4-D could be detected on all indoor air surfaces including tabletops and windowsill, and indoor exposure to this toxin for children was about 10 times higher during the week after lawn chemical application than the week before.

Lawn spray advertisement that includes happy dogs or babies on treated lawns are cynical and regulation and oversight of the chemical industry is poor.

Protect your family, the neighborhood and our wildlife and say no to the chemical lawn.

Brandon Ross

Iowa City

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