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Top ten reasons not to use lawn pesticides:

  1. Suburban lawns receive more pesticide per acre than agricultural land1
  2. Sixty three percent of commonly used lawn pesticides are carcinogenic2
  3. Studies link pesticides to increased rates of miscarriage3
  4. Pesticides pass from mother to child through the umbilical cord and breast milk4
  5. Pound for pound children absorb a higher concentration of pesticides than adults5
  6. Lawn pesticides increase risk of childhood leukemia by seven times6
  7. Dogs exposed to herbicide treated lawns double risk of canine lymphoma7
  8. Pesticides kill beneficial insects which are essential to a healthy lawn8
  9. Pesticide runoff results in widespread contamination of streams and groundwater9
  10. Twelve lawn chemicals are on the EPA’s list of drinking water contaminants10
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  1. National Research Council. 1980. Urban Pest Management. National Academy of Sciences; Abrams, R., Attorney General of New York. 1991. “Toxic Fairways: Risking Groundwater Contamination from Pesticides on Long Island Golf Courses,” Environmental Protection Bureau; Pimentel, D, et al. 1991. “Environmental and Economic Impacts of Reducing U.S. Agricultural Pesticide Use,” Handbook of Pest Management in Agriculture, 2nd ed. CRC Press, Florida, p.679. []
  2. Beyond Pesticides Factsheet. 2005 April. []
  3. Greenlee, A. et al. 2004. “Low-Dose Agrochemicals and Lawn-Care Pesticides Induce Developmental Toxicity in Murine Preimplantation Embryos,” Environ Health Perspect 112(6): 703-709; Cavieres, M., et al. 2002. []
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2003 Jan. National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals; Pohl, HR., et al. 2000. “Breast-feeding exposure of infants to selected pesticides,” Toxicol Ind Health 16: 65-77; Sturtz, N., et al. 2000. “Detection of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid residues in neonates breast-fed by 2,4-D exposed dams,” Neurotoxicology 21(1-2): 147-54; Houlihan, J., et al. 2005. Body Burden, The Pollution in Newborns. Environmental Working Group, Washington, D.C. []
  5. EPA. 1996. Environmental Health Threats to Children. Office of the Administrator. 175-F-96-001. []
  6. Lowengart, R. et al., 1987. “Childhood Leukemia and Parent’s Occupational and Home Exposures, ” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 79:39. []
  7. Glickman, Lawrence, et al. 2004. “Herbicide exposure and the risk of transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder in Scottish Terriers,” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 224(8):1290-1297; Hayes, H. et al., 1991. “Case-control study of canine malignant lymphoma: positive association with dog owner’s use of 2,4-D acid herbicides,” Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 83(17):1226 []
  8. Restmeyer, S.J. 2003. Ecological Pest Management: Embracing the Organic Approach to Landscape Management. Pesticides and You 23(1): 11-12. Beyond Pesticides, Washington, D.C. []
  9. U.S. Geological Survey. 1998. Pesticides in Surface and Ground Water of the United States: Summary of Results of the National Water Quality Assessment Program; Gilliom R.J. et al. 1999 April. “Testing water quality for pesticide pollution,” Environ Science and Technology News. []
  10. EPA. “Unregulated Drinking Water Contaminants,” Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water. (accessed 8/8/05).