Wednesday, February 13th, 2013...4:43 pm

Pesticide Problems

Warning Pesticides: Fire Will Cause Toxic Fumes by C. G. P. Grey

More and more people are becoming concerned with the excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers on lawns and gardens. Careful, judicious use of small amounts of pesticides and fertilizers may be helpful, but using a lot on lawns and gardens may not be healthy or safe for humans and animals.

New Jersey may follow New York and Connecticut’s lead to become the third state to ban schoolground spraying.

Florida, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Wisconsin and Maryland are limiting the amount of fertilizer with nitrogen and phosphorus that can be used on lawns and on your property; other states are considering a fertilizer ban. (see here) These bans also give dates when no one is allowed to apply fertilizers. Check out your state’s law on lawn fertilization to see what you can or cannot do on your lawns. Here are the NJ rules which, even if you are living in a state or country that does not have the ban, you should read. These bans are for the safety of our environment. If your state does not have the ban, become educated about the problems and encourage your state to write legislation to have the ban.

If a pesticide kills unwanted insects, it will kill beneficial insects. And these poisons can get into our bodies or pets’ bodies through the skin or by breathing it in or by walking barefoot on it. The pesticides can get into our water systems, the very water systems that may be our drinking water source.

Too much fertilizer is a problem because when it drains into our water sources it makes our water unfit to drink and can even “kill” the water source. Excessive amounts of nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus, allows algae to grow rapidly and then decompose thus depleting the dissolved oxygen in the water. This condition usually results in fish kills, offensive odors, unsightliness, and reduced attractiveness of the water for recreation and other public uses. (see here) And in some cases the excess nutrients in the water kills off beneficial water creatures while encouraging some species we really don’t want. Been to the ocean recently and been scared out of the water because of so many jelly fish? The thinking is that they breed when there is excessive nitrogen in the water. (see here)

Most of the problems seem to be caused by synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Organic products do not seem to have as many problems. For a good list of sources that manufacture organic fertilizers and pesticides check out this website or Espoma’s website.

A good blog on the subject of safe lawns is this.

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