The sun is shining, the grass is growing and it is the perfect time to start those necessary spring chores outdoors. It is the mad rush for seeds and sprouts, soils and fertilizers, and some will be purchasing herbicides and pesticides.
This year, take some time to think about whether a green lawn and bug-free plants are worth the risk of cancer, birth defects or neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.
The most commonly purchased lawn care product is Weed and Feed brought to you by Scott’s. This company produces many well-known and widely used home use chemicals under these brand names:
· Scotts Lawn Service
· Roundup (exclusive distribution agreement)
· Nexa Lotte
· Scotts Wild Bird Seed
· Morning Song Selectio
Do you Think Weed and Feed is Safe?
It is not, weed and feed contains the chemicals (2, 4-D: 2, 4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid; Mecoprop-P: (+)-(R)-2-(2 methyl-4-chlorphenoxy) propionic acid; and Dicamba :(3,6-dichloro-o-anisic acid) on N-P-K Fertilizer
The Active Ingredient:
‘2,4-D was co-discovered independently in both the US and the UK in 1941. The two teams involved were “Templeman and Colleagues at ICI” (USA) and “Nutman and Collaborators at Rothamsted Experimental Station” (UK). In both cases the researchers were part of a clandestine wartime effort by their governments, to create chemical warfare agents for use in WWII. ‘
–“Herbicides and Plant Physiology By Andrew H. Cobb, John P. H. Reade”
2,4-D is most commonly used for:
- · Weed control in lawns, school yards, parks, sports fields and golf courses
- · No-till burndown
- · Control of weeds and brush along fences and highway and railroad rights of way
- · Conifer release (control of broad-leaf trees in conifer plantings)
- · Grass hayfields and pastures
- · Genetically Modified Cereal grains and Corn
- · As a synthetic auxin analog (mixed with Glyphosphate)
The point of view concerning the toxic action of 2,4-dichloro-phenoxyacetic acid has been evolving from decades and now it is considered that 2,4-D also induces free radical reactions that lead to numerous unbeneficial changes in tissues.
The increases of free radical levels cause DNA damage and thus cell death (in apoptotic process). It is also suggested that 2, 4-D causes cell apoptosis as the result of change of membrane potential in mitochondria and initiates caspase-dependent reactions. For many years the discussion has been continuing concerning the mutagenicity of 2, 4-D and now many documented investigations that have been performed from 2000 unequivocally proved its mutagenic action. The mutagenicity of 2, 4-D concerns homologous recombination, AàG mutation, chromosome aberrations, sister chromatid exchange and DNA damage, and also an increase in the frequency of DNA strand breaks
Studies have also shown that 2,4-D enters maternal milk and even semen. Dozens of peer-reviewed studies show that 2,4-D exhibits hormone-disrupting activity, including estrogenic, androgenic, and anti-thyroid effects. 2,4-D also affects the function of the neurotransmitters and hormones dopamine and serotonin. Interference with these hormones can cause severe and lifelong effects during fetal and infant development, including birth defects, neurological damage in offspring, and changes in reproductive function
Warning not found on the label or MSDS: Pesticides get inside our homes and our bodies
2,4-D contaminates our air and water, and finds its way into our homes tracked in by shoes and pet paws. Young children who crawl on carpets or play on the floor are most at risk for exposure to 2,4-D by hand-to-mouth ingestion, transdermal absorption, and inhalation of household dust. Residues of 2,4-D on children’s hands and in their urine have been shown to correlate closely with the levels of 2,4-D in carpet dust, demonstrating that the contamination from dust is how this chemical enters children’s bodies. Nationally, the levels of 2,4-D detected in the urine of children ages 6 to 11 is higher than in any other age group.
One study found that the 2,4-D levels inside homes were about ten times higher after it was applied to the lawn than before application. The highest levels were found inside homes with children and a dog, the lowest levels were households where shoes were always removed at the door.
Once these chemical poisons are tracked inside, they last much longer than they would outdoors. Indoors they are broken down by the exposure to sunlight, rainwater and soil organisms. Children are at particular risk because their brains and immune systems are still developing, and their hormone systems are vulnerable. Recent work by California toxicologists indicates that carcinogens are generally three to ten times more potent in infants and children compared to adults
Organic, natural and safer options for weed control and fertilization:
Leaving grass clippings on the lawn or mulch mowing can provide a third of the nitrogen needs of the grass for the year. Nutrients are released at a slower rate; closer to the frequency that plants can use the nutrition.
Compost naturally provides the nutrients your lawn and garden need to grow and stay healthy — and you can easily make your own from kitchen and yard waste. If you compost right, and in excess, you will have no need to buy commercial fertilizers between your own amendments and collecting compost tea.
Regular applications of compost tea of about a half-gallon per 1,000 square feet of lawn or garden will reduce the need for additional fertilizer and generally make the lawn and garden more disease and insect resistant.
If your soil is compacted — excess weeds such as plantain can be a tell-tale sign — aeration may be necessary. Renting a core aerator from a local equipment supply store is usually the best option other than hiring to get the job done. Fall is the best time.
By the way, Maybe those weeds aren’t really so bad
The main concerns for lawn gurus are dandelion and white clover. Maybe these plants shouldn’t be so concerning after all. Humans have an insatiable need to control the environment they inhabit, let nature be nature.
Dandelions are nutritious; the greens are high in vitamins A, B complex, C and D, and minerals including iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium and zinc. Instead of spraying dandelions with poisons while your kids are forced to be indoors on a sunny day, get the kids outside and harvest those greens for food while your kids can make dandelion crowns out in the yard with daddy.
White clover could possibly be a desirable and completely sustainable ground cover, superior to common grasses.
- · It’s low growing and needs little mowing.
- · It’s evergreen even in the coldest climates
- · It’s drought tolerant, requiring little if any supplemental water once established.
- · It’s a natural fertilizer for grass and other plants since clover has the capability to store atmospheric nitrogen in its root systems.
- · It masks the presence of other weeds in the lawn.
- · It resistant to insects and diseases
This year, go organic, natural, hippie whatever you want to call it, we have a duty to protect our children; The future is theirs, sign on to stop the use of 2,4-D. Be aware of what your children are exposed to at home and in public. More studies on 2, 4-D can be found below, if you have questions, get them answered, know the truth.