Are We Slowly Poisoning Our Kids And Pets? Here's What You Say

Lots of opinions flowed in — along with a few tips.

A growing body of research indicates that common pesticides are putting children and pets at risk.

That’s what Diane Lewis, a New York-based doctor and the author of “The Healthy Yard Project,” had to say in a recent New York Times piece.

And when Patch did a story on her findings, readers had a lot to say, too.

More than 6,000 people voted in a Patch poll asking whether you thought the pesticides were dangerous. And while the poll was unscientific, the votes — and more than 260 comments — showed a common sentiment: yes, those chemicals are bad news.

“The amounts of these chemicals are small and often considered ‘acceptable,’ but scientists now know that they have a cumulative effect,” Lewis wrote in the Times. “Many chemicals that we use very casually on our lawns cause long-term health problems in ways that have only recently been understood.”

And what did Patch readers have to say? Here's a sampling of the comments that poured in:

Lisa Gates: We are inundated w/lawn spray and weather geoengineering (solar radiation management) spray in our skies. When will this pollution end? http://www.globalskywatch.com/ I don't like any of it - and completely agree with anyone in favor of less chemicals, less pollution - obviously it affects people, pets, the environment, the water/food and the men/women who are doing the spraying and their families.

Michael pellettiereI fertilize and have a ton of fire flies, birds, rabbits, and deer. All healthy looking.

Frank Santora: To quote the story "When chemicals are washed with rainwater into rivers and streams, and are absorbed into the ground, they can pollute drinking water and other aquifers. Despite these potential risks, there are few standards for what sorts of chemicals are acceptable for use on lawns, or in what amounts." How much of this garbage do you think Golf Courses are putting into our environment? We are not talking a lawn on a 50X100 lot, we are talking acres. Does anyone realize what is going to happen. Forget that global warming or climate change crap. Golf courses are a serious hazard.

n.mcgrath: I do not understand this mania over having such a green lawn. A bit compulsive I think. From some of these comments and to Marylynn and the other person who do not believe in agent orange or "salt on a slug", there is no hope for educating you. I only hope if you have children or grandchildren they will forgive our poisonous behavior.

kk: It is all about corporate money. they could not sell products of killing people outright so they get into a slow killing for money. Kind of like torture. Then they advertise until their elected people tell you that you have to do it their way and pass laws to make you do it. then after a few generations of brain washing, torture, you believe it is normal.

Nate: ... not sure why someone has not Erin Brockoviched this already - Rachael Carson back in the 60's and 70's told us of the harmful effects of pesticides and the like...I will admit I have sprayed my lawn in the past - new house - it was empty for some time - lawn was all weed filled due to lack of upkeep so I sprayed for one season- within a short time my dog came up with seizures...coincidence ? - okay maybe - vet said she knew of no research the supported this at that time - but come on - how dumb are we??...

Michael pellettiere: A natural way to fertilize is by leaving the grass clippings on the lawn instead of bagging. I do this to limit the amount of fertilizer I use

aagram: There are numerous reasons not to use these harmful chemicals. Most importantly, your health and the health of others. There is an excellent site on Facebook called "Occupy Monsanto" that is full of information. Without Bees, we will only survive for up to 5 years. These marvelous creatures pollinate everything. Without that, plenty of plants will stop growing, including produce. Studies conducted on what is called Bee Colony Collapse have been done which point to things like Roundup being the largest cause. The latest study was done by Harvard. There are natural alternatives!

Sharon Levy: Several years back I lost my collie due to pesticides, she was one of the dogs that would lick her paws, she died a horrible painful death.........THE COMPANIES LIE LIE LIE ON HOW SAFE THEIR PRODUCTS ARE, I WOULD RATHER LIVE WITH THE PESTS.

And here's another chance: 
  • Do you use chemicals on your lawn, and if so, do you worry about their safety? Do you think the EPA should set larger-scale safety measures for fertilizers and pesticides that apply to homeowners? Tell us in comments below.
See the full story, all comments, and vote in our poll.
Pat May 18, 2014 at 11:16 AM
Troubles me that people take a stand without knowing pros and cons. Ban of DDT beginning about 1964 led to over 60 millions human deaths from malaria and other diseases. People pushed for that ban without knowing all the facts. http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-truth-about-ddt-and-silent-spring
Daniella Ruiz May 18, 2014 at 11:18 AM
our vanity will be our end! i let my lawn ( abt 200 ft x 150 ft) grow full tilt a few years, had my own private meadow, the grass grew to about 2 feet, it reseeded and the next year the weeds mysteriously were absent. end of summer/late fall, i mowed it down to 6 inches, left the cuttings. winter did its usual organic breakdown and now each spring it looks better each year. the birds loved it, flittering about, snatching up all sorts of bugs and wormy things ((non-toxic!!)), the bees had a nice time when the clover was looking like a white carpet, and the fawns and deer flopped down and snoozed during the day, quite the resplendent view of natural existence. thankfully, i live where those pesky, obnoxious type of neighbors don't.
Dr. Del Curry May 18, 2014 at 12:11 PM
We talk about just this problem in our blog at www.drdelcurry.com. We talk about Loudoun's Lyme problem, and why we believe that it is due much in part to the chemical onslaught that our lawns receive. (Once on our site, click on Blog, and curse down until you find the article.) Pretty as our lawns may look, it is not worth the price we are paying.
Mary Vecellio May 18, 2014 at 06:40 PM
I have a friend who used a company that promoted pesticides on the lawn -- and within 6 months, the friend was fighting breast cancer! What does that tell you?


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