Winter hibernation will be over before we know it and with Spring’s bloom comes widespread use of weed killer on lawns across the globe with effects that are insidiously deadly for people and pets. Often NO notice is given or even warning signs (like the one above) are posted by maintenance staff on public or private multi-family properties notifying people that these toxic products will be, or have been, sprayed, jeopardizing the health of kids and pets that unknowingly play on toxic lawns!
Frustratingly, we may not be able to end use of toxic products, but we can help protect our kids and pets by openly questioning lawn care workers about what products are being used and making them aware of the serious health hazards associated with unabated use of weed killer and inform them that there are safer alternatives. Also make sure that at the very least, they should post a notice of intent to spray along with caution signs (like the one at the top) on treated areas. If they are not following this basic protocol (sadly, most do not), remind them that they can be held liable since using those products improperly, in other words not following label directions such as keeping people and pets off treated areas for 48 hours, is unlawful as well as morally irresponsible.
See excerpt below about the devastating effects of weed killer for pets (click orange link for full article):
Your pet’s chances of acquiring both bladder cancer and lymphoma dramatically increase if your pet is exposed to certain lawn and garden products. The lawn and garden care chemical most notorious for being toxic is called 2, 4-D, and is almost surely in your weed killer product among others. Aside from 2, 4-D, you’ll want to avoid products with Carbary, Pronamide, Chlorothalonil, or Maneb, common pesticide components which seem to correlate closely with increased cancer risk.
Let’s put this hazard in perspective: lawns treated a handful of times per year with 2, 4-D (a common practice for many homeowners) can make frolicking dogs twice as likely to contract lymphoma. In 2001, more than half the cases reported to American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals poison control center were the result of pesticide exposure. Scottish Terriers in particular, have the risk of bladder cancer increased by four to seven fold in the presence of lawn and garden treatments with heribicidal chemicals, an unacceptably dangerous high percentage. It’s crucial to watch your own exposure to chemicals when considering lawn and garden care, but be especially mindful when protecting your oblivious pets.
Unfortunately, the companies behind these products are not obliged to detail all their specific ingredients; only the active ingredients. This is unsatisfactory for the concerned pet parent and health conscious person, because even the inactive ingredients possess carcinogenic chemicals. A leading veterinary researcher, Lawrence T. Glickman, VMD, Dr. PH, explains that, “These other ingredients are thought to be inert and, therefore, are not tested or even listed on the product label… But four billion pounds of these other untested chemicals reach our lawns and gardens every year, and we theorize they are triggering cancer in [dogs]…”
The products many people cast upon their grass, flowers and weeds are thus clearly harmful to humans and even more hazardous to our pets, considering how often your animals run through the lawn, face in the grass, and its paws inevitably stained with chemicals. Pets then lick their paws, and directly ingest the chemicals. Even when your pet just sets foot in the grass, the chemicals that rub off on its fur can be absorbed easily into its skin. And we know how irresistible it is for dogs to stop, drop and roll in the lawn. It happens every time!
Use all-natural lawn and garden care products. For instance, rather than using a standard name-brand product which might likely contain harmful toxins, try deploying things like corn gluten meal, a natural weed killer which doubles as a fertilizer. For pest control, try diatomaceous earth and boric acid. Taking these steps alleviates concern, and increasing confidence when your dog runs around outside. Until you find these alternative products, be sure to give your dog a quick wash after being on the grass. Scrub his paws and give his coat a solid clean with a towel.
The most reliable method; eliminate herbicides, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and all other unnatural treatments from your life altogether. Not only will this build the firewall between your dog and despairing fates (like cancer), but will keep you healthy as well … win-win!
NOTE: If your dog has been exposed to any of these harmful chemical products, be sure to contact the Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA) at 888-426-4435. Also, let your veterinarian know, as incidents involving pesticides can and should be documented.
So, why help perpetuate toxic warfare chemical corporations profiting from poisoning life on this planet when there are safe, natural, cost effective alternatives? It’s not just 2,4D based products or glyphosate, its ALL toxic chemical based weed killers and pesticides that pose a threat, regardless of what brand or how they are marketed as “safe” or “EPA approved” (which we have learned means nothing more than a propagandized pay-off by the profiting corporation). Below is an eloquently worded letter effectively shattering the myth of “safety”:
Why Alternatives To Herbicides Should Be Used, On Earth Day and Everyday A Response To A Weed Manager By: Jay Feldman - Executive Director, Beyond Pesticides It is often the case that those who use pesticides use them with the belief that they are safe because they are registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state in which these toxic chemicals are used. However, when public officials who coordinate weed management programs profess this safety myth about pesticides they strike a blow to public trust and understanding of the real risks, known and unknown, of chemicals that happen to be in wide use and result in widespread human and environmental exposure. The Boulder County, Colorado Weed Manager committed this violation of public trust when she wrote in the summer issue of the Boulder County Parks and Open Space publication Images, "Why I Sprayed Herbicides on Earth Day," and seriously misled the public on critical questions of public and environmental safety. Here Cindy Owsley, in defense of pesticide use, is misinformed, and, as a result misinforms. In fact, investigation after investigation, which should be known to a public official of Ms. Owsley stature, say quite the opposite. Of the 18 most commonly used herbicides (herbicides are weed killers, a large and growing part of the family of pesticides), seven are cancer causing, six cause birth defects, six cause reproductive effects, eight are neurotoxic, 9 damaging to the kidney and liver, and 14 are irritants, according to EPA and National Institutes for Health data. And that's just health effects. When considering environmental effects, such as ability to contaminate groundwater and toxicity to fish, bees and birds, the majority are culprits. Even worse, we do not know what we should about the pesticides to be taking the kind of cavalier attitude espoused by Ms. Owsley. The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) found in its 1990 report, Lawn Care Pesticides: Risks Remain Uncertain While Prohibited Safety Claims Continue, that the public is mislead on questions of pesticide safety. While nine years have passed since this finding, not much has changed. The majority of weed killers used by the Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department have not been fully tested in accordance with modern safety standards. Moreover, the EPA has stated clearly that numerous tests have are not even performed as part of the pesticide registration that should be -- tests for endocrine disrupting effects (impacts of these chemicals on fetal development, sexual traits and cancer later in life) and impacts on children generally. In addition, pesticides are not currently tested in mixtures with other chemicals for their additive, cumulative or synergistic effects. The majority of pesticide formulations, whose uses are advocated by Ms. Owsley, are comprised of so-called "inert" ingredients that are often more toxic than the parent compound and not disclosed on the product label. They have been protected as trade secret information. Neither Ms. Owsley nor the public generally can fully identify what solvents, mixing agents, or adjuvants are contained in the products used. In its report, GAO said, "The lawn care pesticides industry [which uses the chemicals we are talking about here] is making claims that its products are safe or nontoxic. GAO's review found nine instances of safety claims, such as "completely safe for humans," made by manufacturers, distributors, and professional applicators. EPA, using its standards for pesticide labels, considers that these claims, when made by manufacturers and distributors, are false and misleading." More recently, New York State last year reached a settlement with Monsanto requiring the company to cease its misleading advertising campaign. In that case, New York Attorney General Dennis Vacco, called Monsanto's ad campaign "particularly troubling," and forced the company to remove certain "health and environmental claims, similar to Ms. Owsley. Monsanto claimed that Roundup, which contains the active ingredient glyphosate, is "safer than table salt," and that Roundup "can be used where kids and pets play, and breaks down into natural material," despite the warning label which clearly states environmental hazards. Sound familiar? Ms. Owsley is making a value judgement, devoid of scientific fact, when she so glibly advocates pesticide use. Her value is that it is O.K. to spray poisons knowing that there are risks and incomplete information on the full range of hazards to people, including children, and the environment, now and in the future. In describing the federal law, a former pesticide registration division director at EPA said in an affidavit that an EPA pesticide registration "does not constitute a finding of a pesticide's safety. To the contrary, the fact of registration only means that EPA has found the risks of use of a pesticide to be outweighed by the benefits of the pesticide's use." With incomplete information, and like most pest managers who ignore the fact that EPA has not evaluated the benefits of pesticides in light of less toxic alternatives or approaches for which we have full safety information, Ms. Owsley is playing with our health and environmental safety. Let's get the truth out and have an informed community debate about the health of families, children and the environment, rather than belittle the meaning, importance and legacy of Earth Day. Maybe then, as a community and as pest managers, we would decide to adopt the non-chemical option that has worked successfully time and time again. ************************************************************************* Beyond Pesticides National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides 701 E Street, SE #200 Washington, DC 20003 Phone 202-543-5450 Fax 202-543-4791
Below are some tips for environmentally friendly organic weed killer that’s SAFE!
1 gallon vinegar
1 cup table salt
2 tablespoons eco-friendly dish soap (Ecover, Biokleen, Bronner’s, etc.)
Mix well, transfer to sprayer and douse weeds. Repeat as needed.
Click orange link above for source.
Not only is homemade vinegar based weed killer safer for humans, pets and the planet, but it saves money too! It’s even more safe to substitute earth friendly biodegradable dish soap in place of brands like Dawn or Ajax.
Some recipes call for only vinegar and dish soap, others add salt (table or epsom) to be more effective. Pouring boiling hot water directly on weeds is also a safe and effective way to get rid of unwanted vegetation in your yard. Also, good old fashioned by hand weed pulling never fails, and working in the garden is therapeutic for those that have the time.
See video and article excerpt below to learn more about the serious health risks of RoundUp from research scientist Dr. Anthony Samsel who has extensively studied glyphosate. Click orange link for full article.
Researcher Reveals Monsanto Has Known Since 1981 That Glyphosate (RoundUp) Promotes Cancer (Source – Dr. Mercola):
Dr. Samsel is a research scientist who is passionate about farming, gardening, and agriculture, making him particularly suitable for investigating glyphosate.
“I was with the ‘think tank,’ Arthur D. Little (ADL) in Cambridge, Massachusetts for many years working as a research scientist on many types of projects, from product development to environmental sciences to later switching to health sciences,” he says.
He’s also done contract work for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and as a hazardous materials expert, he’s worked for the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the United States Navy (USN), and the United States Coast Guard (USCG).
For example, Dr. Samsel was one of the authors of the Chemical Hazard Response Information System (CHRIS) manual for the US Coast Guard. He is also a valuable contributor to our article comments section (Vital Votes).
Besides his career in science, he also owned and operated several farms in New England, and it was this first-hand experience that led him to begin investigating the effects of glyphosate in the first place.
Monsanto Has Known for Nearly 35 Years That GMOs Promote Cancer
Dr. Samsel eventually asked the EPA for Monsanto’s trade secret documentation, as most of the approval process for glyphosate was based on studies Monsanto had done by outside contractors. That process began in the late 1970s and concluded around 1983 with the registration of the chemical. Since then, it’s gone through a couple of re-reviews. But Dr. Samsel wanted access to those documents to investigate what the EPA and Monsanto really knew about glyphosate from the very beginning.
“I asked EPA, as a research scientist, to be able to access those documents in my research. I was denied by the Environmental Protection Agency, initially,” he says. “It finally took Senator Shaheen’s office, here in New Hampshire, to move the EPA… They sent [the documents] to me on a disc. I had to sign for them. I was also told that I could not share them with foreign nationals under a penalty of law…
However, I’ve been going through 12 to 14 of these documents in the file. They represent thousands and thousands of pages of data on studies that were done on laboratory animals. What amazed me was that Monsanto knew in 1981 that glyphosate caused adenomas and carcinomas in the rats that they’ve studied…The highest incidence of tumorigenic growth occurred in the pituitary gland… the second highest levels were in the breasts of the female rats, in the mammary glands… Thirdly, the next highest tumorigenic growth was found in the testicles of male rats..”
In essence, Monsanto’s research of glyphosate showed similar findings as Dr. Gilles-Éric Séralini, whose damning lifetime GMO feeding study11 was wrongfully retracted12,13,14,15largely due to Monsanto’s influence. (Séralini’s paper was later re-published with open access in the Springer Group journal Environmental Sciences Europe.16)
Monsanto’s own research also supports the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determination that glyphosate is a Class 2 A “probable human carcinogen.”17,18,19 –a determination Monsanto is now trying to get retracted. What’s more, the research shows that lower doses of glyphosate tend to have a greater effect than higher doses, and the doses at which damage was found to occur are comparable to the glyphosate levels found in wheat, sugar, corn and soy in the American diet.
Monsanto Never Published These Negative Findings
So how did Monsanto and Biodynamics—the company doing the research—hide these inconvenient facts? According to Dr. Samsel, they cancelled out the controls and the damning findings by using historical control data from unrelated studies. It’s also worth noting that these negative findings were never published in the peer-reviewed literature or submitted to the EPA or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Cancer was clearly shown in their 26-month long feeding study, but the only studies Monsanto has published are studies done in less than three months, which hides the consequences of eating glyphosate and genetically engineered foods over the course of a lifetime.
“I’m looking at a Biodynamics report here as Project number 77-2062, ‘A Lifetime Feeding Study of Glyphosate in Rats,’ and every page of this document says, ‘Contains trade secret or otherwise confidential information of Monsanto Company.’ I have a letter here from Monsanto’s health and safety officer. He was the head guy at Monsanto at the time, back in 1981. In his letter, he asked the US EPA to seal the documents and to treat them as trade secret. I personally feel that this is a violation of the public review process…
Now that I’ve looked at Monsanto’s trade secret documents that the public doesn’t have access to, I’m in the process of writing the Environmental Protection Agency and I’m asking them to release those. They have no right to withhold that information from the public. Because what I’ve seen in those documents, it clearly shows that Monsanto knew in 1981 that glyphosate caused tumorigenic growth and carcinomas in multiple organs and tissues… At the rate we’re going, we’re going to kill billions of people,” Dr. Samsel says.
Removing Glyphosate Is Imperative to Protect Human Health and Future Generations
According to Dr. Samsel, we’re seeing the effects of glyphosate in human disease statistics now. His work with Dr. Stephanie Seneff and Dr. Nancy Swanson show that chronic disease rates are at an all-time high, including the specific tumors found in Monsanto’s 26-month feeding study, as well as the Séralini study and others—specifically pituitary, kidney, breast, testicular, thyroid tumors, and thymic hyperplasia.
“There was some work that was recently done where they looked at the CT scans of patients who had thyroid disease and also found that they had thymic hyperplasia. Well, guess what? In the rat study, they found high incidence of thymic hyperplasia as well as thyroid adenomas and carcinomas,” Dr. Samsel says. “If we don’t take this chemical out of the food supply, everybody will be affected. Everybody that is eating the Western diet. Everybody.
Now, for some diseases, the incidence rate among rats were slightly less than 50 percent—some were as high as 80 percent of the treated group. Obviously, we’re not seeing 80 percent of people in Western populations coming down with tumors. But we might eventually… Rats have an average lifespan of two to two and a half years, whereas the human lifespan is around 80. We’ve only been eating GMOs for about 15 years, but already disease statistics are clearly rising, and rising dramatically. Dr. Samsel believes there’s no doubt genetically engineered (GE) foods will shorten the human lifespan.
“In the 20th month, the rats had an 80 to 90 percent survival rate. But when we got to around 24 months, more than 50 percent of the rats had died. When we got to month 26, I think they only had 30 percent left.”
While correlation is not causation, were we to extrapolate, it would suggest that unless we stop eating glyphosate and genetically engineered foods, the vast majority of us will contract a life-threatening disease in our late senior years, and few will die from plain old age. Other non-life threatening diseases are also cropping up at a furious rate—neurological disorders such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and a wide variety of behavioral problems.
Good health starts in our own back yard. For everyone that lives in an apartment complex, or has school aged children or pets that play outside on those lawns and at schools & parks, always ask lawn care workers what they are spraying on your lawn and share this information far & wide… together we can create a healthier world for all!
Peace & Love…
Research shows that glyphosate, the main ingredient in the pesticide Roundup, can damage DNA, disrupt development and cause morbidity, even at normal levels of use.
World Health Organization (WHO) – announces findings that Roundup ingredients ‘probably’ causes cancer in humans
World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer announced findings that glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp line of pesticides, is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The research, published in The Lancet Oncology, relies on studies conducted on the chemical over the last few decades.