Human diseases triggered by chemical exposure are on the rise across America, a growing concern to the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institutes of Health and the President's Cancer Panel.
Termed the "new cigarette," pesticides and herbicides are linked to numerous human health problems and diseases. Multiple forms of cancers such as breast, testicular, pancreatic, ovarian, brain, leukemia, Hodgkin's lymphomas, to name a few, are associated with pesticide and herbicide use.
So are birth defects, learning disabilities, reproductive problems, neurological and immune system damage, hormone disruption, and asthma.
From April through October, hundreds of thousands if not millions of gallons of these toxic chemicals are being sprayed throughout our community. Landscape companies tell us that these chemicals are safe; they are not! Pesticides and herbicides remain highly toxic outdoors for many weeks to many months even when dry. Once tracked indoors on shoes or by pet paws and fur, pesticides decompose even more slowly and remain deadly potent for several months or even years on carpeting, sofas, and in bedrooms.
Children and pets are most at risk to chemical exposure. Children are more vulnerable to pesticides because of their small bodies, rapidly developing internal systems and their high metabolic rates. Children crawl, play and fall onto chemically sprayed lawns and their lack of hand washing and increased hand-to-mouth activity magnifies their exposure risk; ditto for your beloved dog and cat sniffing and rolling around and chewing grass treated with toxic chemicals.
I applaud the City of Ketchum for protecting its citizens by using safe alternatives to pesticides whenever possible. I thank the Blaine County Recreation District for championing a chemical-free bicycle path from Bellevue to HulenMeadows by thinking outside the box and "hiring" very cute goats and their "kids" to eat and control noxious weeds.
Many diseases and illnesses attributed to environmental and chemical exposure are preventable, i.e., exposure to tobacco, asbestos, radon, ultraviolet light, mercury, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides and herbicides.
I now request that the landscape companies take a leadership role and step-up to implement best safe lawn and tree care practices" and protect our beloved kids, pets and community.