Appeal to your representative Senators!

Toxic chemicals surround us. We envelope ourselves and our children in toxic perfumed laundry detergents; we smear our bodies and hair with untested creams, gels and shampoos. We further damage our health with pesticides used in lawn and garden care, and in agriculture. It is time for legislation to replace the never adequate and very outdated Toxics Substances Control Act. To view each entry, just click on the title or link(s) within each entry.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Middle School Students SufferToxic Symptoms From Momentum, a Lawn Chemical

How many more incidents like this will it take for parents and businesses (schools, hospitals...) to disallow the use of synthetic pesticides that unnecessarily expose our children to harm? Why do we trust these products that we know so little about? Do we know that the pest control companies understand their product and are exercising extreme caution during the applications?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

On Keeping Ticks, Grubs, Slugs... Under Control W/O Chemicals

Here are some tips on how to attack the causes of your backyard pests -- without chemicals or gadgetry -- from Dill, Tukey and Gary Fish, manager of the Pesticide Programs for the Maine Board of Pesticides Control in Augusta.

Imprelis, A New Herbicide that Kills Trees, not just Weeds!

A "safer" herbicide supplement (in place of 2,4-D, a known toxic- to- humans weed killer), used in chemical lawn care, is the suspected culprit for the death of millions of dollars worth of lawn trees. This is a wake up call that we need to question exactly what we are trusting and purchasing for our lawn care. Fortunately, according to Consumer Reports, the manufacturer, Dupont, is suspending sales of this product...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Protect Fireflies-- They Eat Grubs and Slugs!

We all share an affinity for lightning bugs with their magical nocturnal light shows. Aside from their entertainment value, they help keep down pesky grub and slug populations. Sadly, firefly populations can be hampered by lawn chemicals... Raupp believes that any downturn in the population, which became noticeable in 2008, was the result of pressure on the lightning bug habitat. Too many concrete parking lots left less ground for the larvae to inhabit while they develop. Pesticides shrank the food supply of slugs, grubs and worms. And light — from streetlights, houses, parking lots and even baseball stadiums — confused the fireflies, who couldn’t “find” each other. In addition, pesticides on lawns would have crippled the female lightning bug populations, because that’s where they stay.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fiskar's Eco Friendly Push Reel Mower

Grass clippings will enhance your lawn. If you live at a condo/home association, you can find a land maintenance business that can mulch mow. But, make sure they know the correct mowing heights, etc. See this link for information:

"Grass clippings returned to the lawn provide up to 25 percent of your lawn's total fertilizer needs. Clippings contain about 4 percent nitrogen, 2 percent potassium and 1 percent phosphorus. While decomposing, they also serve indirectly as a food source for the bacteria in the soil, which are doing many beneficial things (such as decomposing thatch) for a healthy turf environment." --University of Missouri Extension. If you have a smaller lawn, this one fits the bill-- it is environmentally friendly and economical!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Pesticides and Male Endocrine Disruption-- From Scientific American

Time to learn from frogs... Many agricultural pesticides – including some previously untested and commonly found in food – disrupt male hormones, according to new tests conducted by British scientists. The scientists strongly recommended that all pesticides in use today be screened to check if they block testosterone and other androgens, the hormones critical to a healthy reproductive system for men and boys.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Why Not to Use TruGreen/ChemLawn

Why surround ourselves with lawn products which cannot be called "safe"? Population at greatest health risk from exposures to toxic pesticides on lawns: CHILDREN, PREGNANT women, the ELDERLY and people with WEAKENED IMMUNE SYSTEMS. In the State of NH, only one person oversees the training of close to 2,000  licensed lawn chemical applicators. Once licensed and administering their product, there is almost no oversight. We have seen "trained" contractors putting lawn chemicals down in very windy conditions. Furthermore, the particles are so small that they are easily transported into the tiniest of openings in our houses. Many people have symptoms from exposures and do not realize the cause and effect. 17 of 32 (53%) of TruGreen ChemLawn’s pesticide products include ingredients that are possible carcinogens, as defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). All 32 of TruGreen ChemLawn’s pesticide products include ingredients that pose threats to the environment including water supplies, aquatic organisms, and non-targeted insects. 9 of 32 (28%) of TruGreen ChemLawn’s pesticide products include ingredients that are known or suspected reproductive toxins (7/32 known, 22%). 11 of 32 (34%) of TruGreen ChemLawn’s pesticide products include ingredients that are known or suspected endocrine disruptors (4/32 known, 12.5%). 13 of 32 (41%) of TruGreen ChemLawn’s pesticide products include ingredients that are banned or restricted in other countries

Friday, February 18, 2011

New "Safe" Insecticides Pose Risk to Neurological Development

From the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York: Effects on IQ appear to be similar to lead exposure. When the EPA phased out the widespread residential use of chlorpyrifos and other organophosphorus (OP) insecticides in 2000-2001 because of risks to child neurodevelopment, these compounds were largely replaced with pyrethroid insecticides. But the safety of these replacement insecticides remained unclear, as they had never been evaluated for long-term neurotoxic effects after low-level exposure.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mark and Catherine Winkler Assistant Professor of Environmental Exposure Biology

More pesticides are used on lawns, per acre, than on agriculture. Dr. Alex Lu of Harvard's School of Public Health will be speaking at the February 22 hearings in Concord in support of New Hampshire's HB 495, An Act relative to the prevention of the use of pesticides on the grounds of child day care facilities, schools, and state parks. My primary research is to use variety of biomarkers for assessing human exposures to environmental chemicals in order to facilitate the identification of risk factors, as well as the formation of hypotheses for potential health effects. One of my current research projects is to integrate exposure biomarkers, physiologically based pharmacokinetic model and cumulative risk assessment tools for quantifying children’s longitudinal exposure to pesticides via dietary intakes, and its risks by comparing to benchmark doses used by the regulatory agencies.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New Hampshire's HB1456-- Lawn Facts/Trends Feb 2010

After the hearings for New Hampshire's HB 1456, a bill to study banning the use of pesticides on school grounds, Paul Tukey of SafeLawns gathered the following information for state representatives. (Please note that the "trends" are from February 2010. Now, there is a ban on Weed and Feed in 80% of Canada!) Connecticut, New York and New Jersey have legislation eliminating the use of pesticides on school grounds, playing fields and state parks. Currently, Maine and New Hampshire are moving towards similar legislation. 17 of 32 (53%) of the most commonly registered and utilized lawn pesticide products in New Hampshire include ingredients that are likely carcinogens, as defined by the EPA and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. 13 of 32 (41%) of the approved lawn pesticide products include ingredients that are banned or restricted in other countries due to their health and environmental impacts. New Hampshire has just one person in charge of registering all categories of pesticides (thousands) in the state. New Hampshire has just two people policing 1,800 licensed pesticide applicators across the state.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

No Pesticide Can Be Perfectly "Safe"-- First, Do No Harm

As citizens of this earth, we have a moral obligation to do the right thing. EPA believes that no pesticide can ever be considered perfectly "safe." Additionally, the U.S. General Accounting Office, and the New York and Pennsylvania Attorneys General have charged various companies with misleading advertising and prohibited safety claims.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Why The Need For Oversight

Approximately one year ago, a group of citizens from around the State of New Hampshire joined their efforts to put forth HB1456, a study bill to learn about the chemicals placed on our lawns and school grounds... Commonly used home and garden pesticides include Glyphosate-(Roundup)15% of which is comprised of a surfactant called polyoxethyleneamine (POEA) which is 3 x more acutely toxic than the active ingredient (glyphosate) itself. 2-4-D is a possible carcinogen and endocrine disruptor, pendimethylin is a Pre-emergent chemical to control weeds such as crabgrass and a Class C- Possible Human carcinogen, Chlorpyrifos was most widely used insecticide in U.S. with over 30 million lb/yr. used annually. Dursban is an organophosphate insecticide. Once inside animals, it is transformed into chlorpyrifos-oxon, which is 300x more powerful than chlorpyrifos itself. Commonly used in kitchen, bath and living spaces.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

New Jersey's Bill to Limit Pesticides on School Grounds Goes Beyond Other States' Efforts

The latest on the movement to mitigate toxic exposures. State governments understand the need to protect our children from pesticides used on school grounds. This is a wake up call for everyone.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Roundup is Not a Safe Herbicide

The name Roundup doesn't sound threatening. Read on and find out why this stuff, made to kill weeds, is a threat to human health.

New Hampshire's 2011 Healthy Children, Healthy Lawns Bill

On March 15th, HB495-FN, sponsored by New Hampshire House Representative Suzanne Smith, Representative Gile and Representative Gargasz, is being introduced to the Legislature. "The bill limits the application of pesticides on the grounds of child day care facilities, schools, and state parks."

Monday, January 31, 2011

New Jersey Has Twin Bills Pending to Restrict Pesticide Use

First Connecticut, then New York and now, New Jersey with New Hampshire and Maine close behind. Is this a race? Well, yes, in a sense. It is about legislation to restrict the use of pesticides on school grounds, playing fields and parks. Our children's health is most at risk from exposures to synthetic pesticides for lawns. These states along with the Canadian government, European countries, entire New Jersey municipalities, townships in Massachusetts, the City of Anchorage, Alaska... are doing the right thing. We are being exposed to too many toxic chemicals that we think we do not have choices about, or forget that we have control over, but we do have control! Empower yourself and your family: you can easily find alternatives to using conventional lawn chemicals. It is your right to have control over your exposures to harmful chemicals and we can start today by decreasing the exposures right beneath our feet--in our lawns and gardens. I and others share grave concerns for our children and for all of us.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Harvard School of Public Health: Pesticide Exposures & Increased Risk of Parkinson's

Research by the Harvard School of Public Health found a connection between home pesticide use and Parkinson's Disease.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Current Studies Show Impact of Pesticide Exposures to Children

Children are exposed to pesticides before they are born, not just from agriculture, lawns and playing fields, the air and water. "At age 2, children of mothers who had the highest levels of breakdown products from organophosphate pesticides in their urine had the greatest risk of "pervasive developmental disorder." Symptoms include behavioral effects like being afraid to try new things, inability to tolerate anything out of place, and avoiding looking others in the eye—all signs consistent with autism spectrum behavior. By age 5, children who had been exposed to the most pesticides in the womb were at greater risk of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As the children continue to grow, researchers are now studying whether the greatest prenatal exposures are linked to learning disabilities, behavior problems, asthma, diabetes and obesity."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bees and the Pesticide Burden

We have been hearing about deformities in frogs for years. Now we are hearing about dwindling bee and bat populations and pesticides appear to be major culprits for their decline.

The Value of Clover for Lawns

Clover is not a bad word. Bees use it for their honey and it is good for the health of our soil. There are many reasons why we should have clover on our lawns.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mt Sinai Medical Center on Pesticides as Toxic

Mt Sinai Hospital promotes limiting our exposures to toxic chemicals and the avoidance of lawn pesticides. "Heavy use of pesticides. More than 1.2 million pounds of pesticides — many of them toxic to the brain and nervous system — are applied in the United States each year. These chemical pesticides are used on lawns and gardens, and inside homes, schools, day-care centers and hospitals. The United States has 1.3 percent of the world’s population but uses 24 percent of the world’s total pesticides."

Pesticide Exposure Linked to Parkinson's and Endocrine Disruption

The latest on Endocrine Disruption from pesticide exposures from Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility and Science and Environmental Health Network: "Pesticides: A large body of data links exposure to a variety of pesticides with increased risks for Parkinson's disease. Evidence also links chronic low dose exposure to a number of pesticides-- primarily in the work setting-- with subsequent cognitive decline, such as impaired memory and attention. A study in France found that a history of occupational exposure to pesticides more than doubled the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Exposure to some pesticides has also been linked to dramatically increased risks of diabetes, pre-diabetes, and metabolic syndrome."

Toxics Action Center for information on Hazards of Lawn Chemicals

One of the most concise and helpful groups for understanding the subject of toxic lawn chemicals is the Toxics Action Center, an advocacy group I have had the pleasure of working with this past year during New Hampshire's push for state legislation to regulate pesticide use on school grounds and playing fields.

Safe Chemicals Act

Only recently has it come to light that our government has permitted tens of thousands of chemicals to be "on the market"-- in our air, our homes our workplaces, our waterways, our bodies... without proper testing. Some of these hazardous to our health chemicals are pesticides used on our lawns and grounds, in agriculture and inside school buildings, hospitals and so on. Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey has introduced legislation which will begin to fix our inadequate system for regulating these toxins.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, A Real Problem

Many people have knowingly and unknowingly developed multiple chemical sensitivies. This occurs from, you guessed it, multiple chemical exposures. That dizziness, general malaise, skin rash, and so on are not "allergies". It appears that few doctors are aware of this illness because they are often sending us to the allergist or dermatologist or even the psychologist for such complaints. Suffice to say, you and yours could very well have MCS. What to do? Avoid chemicals. Not so easy but we can begin by avoiding those close to home-- lawn chemicals and indoor pesticide use.

Inheritance Tax from Pesticides...

We need to be aware of the fact that the chemical products that we put on our lawns or in our homes to get rid of weeds and bugs can have serious health effects on generations to come.