Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's not rocket science.

There's a reason I'm posting this .. I'll expand on it later.
In the meantime ..

TruGreen ChemLawn’s standard customer receipt lists 32 pesticides available for use through its residential lawn care program. An analysis of these pesticides based on information from the pesticide manufacturer’s Material Safety Data Sheets reveals:

17 of 32 (53%) of TruGreen ChemLawn’s pesticide products include ingredients that are possible carcinogens, as defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
All 32 of TruGreen ChemLawn’s pesticide products include ingredients that pose threats to the environment including water supplies, aquatic organisms, and non-targeted insects.
9 of 32 (28%) of TruGreen ChemLawn’s pesticide products include ingredients that are known or suspected reproductive toxins (7/32 known, 22%).
11 of 32 (34%) of TruGreen ChemLawn’s pesticide products include ingredients that are known or suspected endocrine disruptors (4/32 known, 12.5%).
13 of 32 (41%) of TruGreen ChemLawn’s pesticide products include ingredients that are banned or restricted in other countries.

The big seven lawn chemicals to watch out for are 2,4-D, Captan, Diazinon, Dursban, Dacthal, Dicamba and Mecocrop, according to the Poison Action Network. These chemicals were registered without a full safety screening.

Pesticides applied on residential and commercial lawns are known to migrate indoors. An EPA study found that residues from outdoor pesticides are tracked in by pets and people's shoes, and can increase the pesticide loads in carpet dust as much as 400-fold. Pesticides have also been found to persist for years within homes, where they do not degrade from exposure to sunlight or rain.

Children are at a higher risk for health effects from exposure to pesticides than adults. Why?

*Children’s internal organs are still developing and maturing and their enzymatic, metabolic, and immune systems provide less natural protection than those of an adult.
There are "critical periods" in human development when exposure to a toxin can permanently alter the way a child’s biological system develops and operates.
*Children eat more and drink more per body weight than adults, so pesticide exposure has a bigger impact on their bodies.
*A child’s behavior outdoors or in the home brings them in contact with the ground more than an adult, potentially exposing him or her more directly to pesticides when playing on grass or carpets. Pesticides are often tracked indoors by pets and shoes. Young children also engage in more frequent hand-to-mouth behavior.
*A National Cancer Institute study states that, "although research is underway to characterize the risks of childhood cancer associated with pesticides and identify the specific pesticides responsible, it is prudent to reduce or, where possible, eliminate pesticide exposure to children, given their increased vulnerability and susceptibility. In particular, efforts should be focused to reduce exposure to pesticides used in homes and gardens and on lawns and public lands, which are major sources of exposure for most children."

A number of studies have linked lawn pesticides to childhood illnesses:

*A University of Southern California study showed that children whose parents used garden pesticides were 6.5 times more likely to develop leukemia.
*According to EPA’s Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment, children receive 50 percent of their lifetime cancer risks in the first two years of life.
*Children with brain cancer are more likely than normal controls to have been exposed to insecticides in the home.
*Children in families that use professional pest control services are at higher risk of developing leukemia than children in families that don’t use pesticides.
*A 1990 study by the US Congress Office of Technology Assessment concluded that “in general, [human health] research demonstrates that pesticide poisoning can lead to poor performance on tests including intellectual functioning, academic skills, abstraction, flexibility of thought, and motor skills; memory disturbances and inability to focus attention; deficits in intelligence, reaction time, and manual dexterity; and reduced perceptual speed. Increased anxiety and emotional problems have also been reported.”

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hilton Head Montage

Tea Time

Reese has been having some "issues" (to put it nicely) at bedtime. It's been going on for almost a month. When you pair a stubborn, headstrong kid with a pushover Mom .. well, you get a months worth of screams when the lights go out.

Last night we had an awesome night...
As I was closing the door, I heard the familiar, "Mommmmmeeeeee" start .. but when I asked her what was wrong, she just said, "bye bye".

This morning we made a huge deal about how well she went to bed. As a reward I took the girls to tea at Mittie's Tea Room and then out for ice cream.
Yes, my girls get Tea Time as a reward in lieu of Chuckie Cheese and the like.
We're fancy like that.

The girls had a blast. Here's hoping it was enough to ensure us more great nights!