Friday, June 3, 2011

What’s wrong with using pesticides?

Ask Ida


Dear Ida B. Green,

What's the deal with Ketchum banning pesticides and herbicides?

Signed,

Weedy

Dear Weedy,

In April, the Ketchum City Council adopted a policy to restrict the use of pesticides and herbicides on city-owned lands. Their "last resort" policy allows city employees to manage infestations in a concentrated area while using only safer methods on unaffected plantings. As children can be most harmed by the long-term health impacts of these toxic chemicals, the new policy completely bans the use of pesticides and herbicides on all playgrounds.

However, the new policy places no restrictions on residential or business use of lawn-care chemicals, so you may feel this issue doesn't affect you. But consider some of these stats from Environmental and Human Health Inc. (www. HYPERLINK "mailto:info@ehhi.org" info@ehhi.org) and see if it may be time for you to reconsider your lawn-care policy too:

- Lawns cover 30 million acres of the U.S.

- Homeowners use up to 10 times more chemical pesticides per acre than farmers use on crops. These chemicals can be absorbed through inhalation, skin or ingestion.

- Dead birds found in New York communities were tested for West Nile virus and were found to have most often died from lawn-care pesticide poisoning.

- Most lawn-care chemicals have the potential to contaminate groundwater (our drinking water) and are difficult and expensive to remove.

Keep safe and green,

Ida




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