They’re popping up all over on lawns in Maine, those little yellow flags warning of pesticide application. Dandelions are often the primary target.
The public has been misled about the safety of pesticides. According to the EPA, all pesticides are toxic to varying degrees, and stating they are safe is a violation of federal law. Current labeling laws, designed to protect the formulations of manufacturers’ products, do not require all ingredients in a pesticide be listed; only the active ingredient is revealed. All other chemicals in the formula, necessary to make the product work, are listed as inert. Inert doesn’t mean harmless or safe. These chemicals are extremely toxic and often more harmful and poisonous than the primary pesticide. Inert ingredients are not tested, yet comprise up to 85 percent of the product.
Pesticides are linked to breast cancer, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, childhood leukemia, heart attacks, strokes, Parkinson’s disease, birth defects, asthma, reproductive, neurological and attention deficit disorders and more. Children absorb more pesticides than adults, so a child living in a home where pesticides have been applied has a 6.5 times greater risk of developing leukemia.
Dandelions, however, are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, very nutritious. A natural detoxifier and diuretic, dandelions prevent disease and promote health. Somewhere along the line, it was decided dandelions have no aesthetic appeal in lawns and replacing them with pesticides was a good idea.
Dandelions are not killing your lawn, but the chemicals used to eliminate dandelions are killing you. I’ll take the dandelions.