Gardening season is here and we are faced with the question of whether to use lawn chemicals. As a former environmental chemist, I have a heightened understanding of toxins and would like to disclose insight into the hazards of pesticides and herbicides.
The most alarming issue is misleading labeling. The EPA only requires the main ingredient be listed. All other chemicals in the formula, necessary to make the product work, are listed as inert. Inert does not mean harmless or safe. They 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. Current law does not require inert ingredients be listed on the label because they are regarded as “trade secrets,” thus protecting the formulation of the corporation’s product at the expense of the public’s awareness and health.
The EPA declares that all pesticides are toxic to some degree and stating they are “safe” is a violation of Federal Law. Pesticides have been linked to non-Hodgkins lymphoma, breast cancer, 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.
Pesticides drift and get absorbed into the entire ecosystem, making their way into our bodies; a huge price to pay for the appeal of a carpet-like lawn.