Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dogs Absorb Lawn Chemicals

You might think this is a no brainer, or you might have never even thought about it, but a new study out of Perdue University (and reported on by the Discovery Channel) shows a correlation between lawn pesticides and a higher risk of bladder cancer in dogs. The study also suggests that other pets and children are also at risk of ingesting these chemicals and increasing their risk of cancer as a result, even if it isn't your lawn that's being sprayed, but your neighbor's.

The Discovery article talks a lot about the risks, the science, and industry standards for pesticide application, but it doesn't talk about organic alternatives to spraying directly in the article. Scroll through the captions for the images in the slideshow at the top of the article for some helpful tips for growing a sustainable lawn, but keep in mind that one of the suggestions, corn gluten, is not recommended by the NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care. You can also see a more comprehensive set of tips and guidelines for growing an organic lawn or garden by viewing the pdf of our Introduction to Organic Lawns and Yards booklet here. (You can also purchase hard copies of the booklet here.)

The best way to prevent chemical absorption for lawn pesticides is to stop spraying your lawn with them, and talking to your neighbors about it if they spray their lawns. You can still have a green and beautiful looking lawn without the use of harmful cancer-causing chemicals, and you and your lawn will be healthier in the long run if you do transition to organic.  Need some help getting started?  View a list of our Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals, who are in business to help you care for your property organically, on our searchable database here.

Have a great day!