Neighboring County Wages War on Lawns
By Gil Medeiros, Fairfax Master Gardener
I hope it doesn’t happen here in Fairfax County. I’m speaking of the Comprehensive Ban on the use of “cosmetic lawn pesticides” enacted recently by Montgomery County, Md. While reduction in the use of pesticides is a laudable goal, this is the not the way to do it.
The ban, patterned after one enacted by Takoma Park, Md., in 2013, will begin to take effect in 2017. It includes the following.
- The Class 9 pesticide list from Ontario, Canada. This list contains 119 pesticides. The Ontario website says “Class 9 pesticides are banned for cosmetic purposes because they may (emphasis added by author) pose an unnecessary risk to human health, particularly children’s health.” One may infer from this language that the Canadians do not have a real handle on the level of risk posed by any of the chemicals under their blanket ban.
- A list of chemicals that are deemed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be carcinogenic to humans or likely carcinogenic to humans. By my count, this adds about 25 chemicals to the ban; none of these are commonly used on lawns. (Data from EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System database, advanced search for carcinogenic or likely to be carcinogenic to humans)
- The European Commission’s list of 66 endocrine disruptors. Very few of these are used on lawns, or in gardens for that matter. The fungicides maneb, zineb and thiram are on the commission’s list. Zineb and Thiram are also on the Ontario list.
- The EPA’s list of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP). This list covers more than 1,000 products that cannot be purchased without a license. Products often make the RUP list because the formulations are concentrated and pose a handling hazard to untrained members of the general public. The RUP list is by product name; the Ontario list is by active ingredient. A simple cross check reveals that the vast majority of products on the RUP list contain active ingredients already banned by the Ontario list.
Good luck to you, the lawn owners in Montgomery County. As a result of this ban, you will no longer be able to control broadleaf weeds in your lawns because selective lawn herbicides such as 2, 4 D, dicamba, MCCP, and triclopyr are included. Crabgrass? Get ready to do a lot of hand-pulling because the pre-emergent crabgrass killer dithiopyr will be gone. Yes, the organic alternative, corn gluten meal, is approved for use as a pre-emergent. The trouble is, it doesn’t work very well in our Middle Atlantic climate, according to research conducted by the Virginia Cooperative Extension.
((NaturalNews) In the late 1970s and early 1980s, over 50 American women were killed by their tampons. Although the FDA and the feminine hygiene industry have gone to tremendous lengths to try to memory hole this true history (and label it just a “rumor”), tampons made from certain non-natural fibers were found to harbor deadly bacteria and release a sufficient quantity of chemicals to kill or injure over a thousand women.
The worst offenders were Procter and Gamble’s ultra-absorbent Rely tampons. According to the book Soap Opera: The Inside Story of Procter and Gamble, the company dismissed consumer complaints about the tampons for years. A 1975 company memo disclosed that Rely tampons contained known cancer-causing agents and that the product altered the natural organisms found in the vagina. Rely tampons were taken off the shelves in 1980, but many women claim they left a legacy of hysterectomies and loss of fertility.
Among health-conscious women, the toxicity of mainstream tampons has long been an issue of concern. “Just as I say heck no to Cottonseed oil, it is for the same reason I say heck no to sticking toxic cotton up into my nethers,” writes Meghan Telpner. “Did ya know that 84 million pounds of pesticides are sprayed on 14.4 million acres of conventional cotton grown each year in the US.”