The #1 health mistake of spring--please don't do this!
Spraying your lawn with pesticides, herbicides and the like is so damaging for everyone’s health in so many ways. The chemicals that are used in these products are toxic—no matter what the companies or regulators say. These chemicals harm our water, air and soil as well as our bodies and the bodies of all living creatures.
These chemicals seep into the water supply (and no, most are not filtered out—we drink them). They absorb into the air for us to breathe and they damage the natural beneficial elements within our soil. Every creature that is exposed (worms, birds, bees) also takes in the toxins, is damaged by those chemicals and passes them on up the food chain.
When someone decides to use weed killer on their lawn, it’s not just a personal choice. It’s causing all of us health problems. We are all connected and so is our water, air and soil. We have epidemic levels of so many diseases, but the truth is, we could be preventing many of them. My book, “Take Care: The Home Environment Guide” gives more detail, but here are a few points:
- Studies show childhood cancer risk is linked with parents’ pesticide exposure even prior to conception. Risks for leukemia are higher among children who grow up on farms, those whose parents used pesticides in the home or garden and among children whose parents apply pesticides. In all seriousness, putting pesticide applicators out of business would especially save their lives and the lives of their children.
- Research shows pesticides are routinely found in breast milk and umbilical cord blood samples. Our babies are being exposed before birth and even before they even set a sweet little foot on a lawn.
- Children are especially at risk for the health problems posed by these kinds of chemicals because they take in more toxins pound for pound, are developing rapidly, and because they go through critical stages of development where they are even more vulnerable to permanent damage due to toxins.
- Chemical exposure can “turn on” certain genes, triggering disease that may not have otherwise ever developed in an individual.
- The 2010 Presidents Cancer Panel Report showed Americans are routinely exposed to numerous agricultural chemicals that are known or suspected to cause cancer or to disrupt the hormone system. The report links exposure to these kinds of chemicals to cancers that affect the brain and central nervous system, breast, colon, lungs, ovaries, pancreas, kidneys, stomach and also Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma and soft tissue sarcoma.
- The little signs that say to keep off the yard for a couple days absolutely don’t mean the yard is “clean” or “safe” after that point. Studies have shown the chemicals are present in an exposed body after that period of time. Every living creature and human being that walks across the lawn is picking up some of the chemicals. Someone who is barefoot may absorb chemicals through their skin. Someone with shoes will track it into the house. Everyone in the vicinity is breathing it. It might seem minor, but the overall chemical burden we have in today’s modern world is so high, that we cannot brush things like this aside.
It’s also important to understand that the pollinators that allow life on this planet to continue need the weeds people are trying to kill (life on this planet depends on food, which depends on flowers being pollinated, which depends on bees and so on).
Dandelions are a first food that’s available in spring for bees and other kinds of beneficial insects. Spraying for dandelions or mowing them down diminishes the bees’ food supply (and if somehow you haven’t heard, the bees are in major trouble—we all need to be doing everything we can to help). Many so-called “weeds” like dandelions and clover are great for the bees.
What you can do instead of spraying your yard:
- Relax and feel good knowing you are contributing to the health of yourself, your loved ones and all human beings along with the health of the planet we live on.
- Buy a sign (find lots online) or make one that states your yard is pesticide or chemical free. You can find things online that say things like, “Pesticide Free—Because We Love People and the Planet.”
- Take out swaths of grass and use other forms of natural landscaping, including wildflowers (that are beautiful and very benficial for pollinators), rain gardens, edible foods (permaculture), low-maintenance native plants and mulch.
- Find resources online or at your library looking up “organic lawn care,” “natural lawn care,” “permaculture” and “native plants.” Talk with experts from your local nature center, botanical garden or arboretum. They can give you ideas on creative, beautiful, health-promoting alternatives. One good resource is: https://xerces.org/
- Tell your friends and neighbors! Work to increase awareness so your city and schools stop spraying. The fact that we spend money on things that are giving us disease and harming our planet is outrageous.
- Share your tips and ideas! Spread the word.
Thanks for caring enough to read this long post.
For more tips and ideas, see my 7-book wellness series: www.takecareguide.com/store
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