The pesticides used for your lawn care maintenance are used to eliminate unwanted weeds and insects — but recent studies have shown that due to over exposure, these chemicals could get rid of you!
Pesticides are part of a $10 billion lawn care services industry; they are a quick, effective, and cheap way to get rid of weeds. However, doctors are stressing that home owners should be more concerned with their health than their lawn’s.
“You always have to protect yourself when you’re using any chemicals, no matter the grade,” Joe Holland who has been in the lawn care business for 30 years said. “You have to wear a long sleeve shirt, long pants.”
Some of the chemicals he and his coworkers are using are known as herbicides and insecticides which are designed specifically to kill invasive species of plants and bugs. The chemical compounds included in these sprays are glyphosate 2, 4-D, and permethrin.
It is these chemicals that have doctors such as Dr. Phil Landrigan worried for human health and safety. Landrigan, professor of pediatrics at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, studies lawn care chemicals and their effects on humans — specifically pregnant women and children.
“I think the fact that they have been around for a long time engenders a false sense of security,” he said of the pesticides. “There is also concern that pesticides of all kinds can damage the developing nervous system and can result in learning disabilities in children, behavioral problems, and possibly chronic diseases like Parkinson’s.”
Landrigan claims that some pesticide chemicals can even stay in one’s body for years. Landscaping can often enhance a home’s price and reduce it’s time on the market, but if your landscaping is slowly affecting your health, you may be reducing your health.
Other doctors are skeptical of Landrigan’s claims. Dr. Josh Bloom of the American Council of Science and Health states that these chemicals have been used for at least 60 years and pose no risk to humans.
“There are so many things more dangerous in everyday life than this that it is not even worth thinking about,” Bloom said.
Nevertheless, some states have taken it upon themselves to pass laws requiring landscaping companies to stake flags in the ground warning residents that a lawn has been recently treated with chemicals.
For Joe Holland, he has been receiving more inquiries regarding what chemicals he is using these days. Most home owners want to know when it is safe to use their green space again after their lawn is treated.
Many lawn care services offer organic options to creating and maintaining a healthy lawn and are always willing to educate their customers on more eco-friendly ways to keep their lawn healthy.
“Some weeds are so invasive that the only way to combat them is using herbicides,” says Pete Castronova, Owner of Greenside Up, LLC. “Once these fertilizers and herbicides are dry however, there is nothing to worry about in terms of health concerns. Always follow proper instruction from your lawn care provider regarding these chemicals.”