Article written in America regarding Real Grass and pesticides.
Herbicides, Pesticides, Lawns: The Synthetic Turf Option
A National Science Foundation survey of U.S. households asked people how they felt about the risks and hazards associated with turf care.The results were quite surprising. People who apply chemicals to their lawns are more likely than non-chemical users to believe that lawn care practices have a negative impact on local ecology. That’s a problem.
It seems clear, then, that people recognize the negative effects of intensive lawn management practices, such as frequent mowing and spraying of herbicides and fertilizers..Sometimes called apolitical behavior, they fail to connect their daily habits to broader ecological and economic systems. When people discuss their lawn management, they tend to disregard environmental concerns in lieu of cultural pressures, such as perceived real estate growth and being seen by the community as responsible, compliant citizens. That’s according to Paul Robbins in Lawn People: How Grasses, Weeds, and Chemicals Make Us Who We Are (2012).
In fact, most people in the Western world view lawns as a “natural” and even a compulsory element of the home landscape, setting aside social, symbolic, ecological, or aesthetic values (Stewart et al., 2009). Contemporary turfgrass yards are part of an array of linkages to complex ecosystems, vast chemical production economies, community values and priorities, and personal aesthetics and obligations.
Understanding the social motives behind the strong attachment of modern Western society to lawns is the first step to introducing potential alternative solutions. Since turfgrasses, chemical companies, communities, and individuals co-inhabit the world, it is a dilemma to locate viable alternatives to this powerful dynamic. A lawn creates certain kinds of cultural expressions; it is a symbol of the responsible domestic American. Thus, the search for alternatives to the lawn and associated negative environmental effects must combine common-sense solutions with acknowledgments of the dynamics behind turfgrass culture.
WHY LAWN CARE AND PESTICIDES CREATE POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS
Pesticides are human-made and naturally occurring chemicals that control insects, weeds, fungi, and other pests that destroy crops (Gill & Garg, 2014). Pesticides are all-too-often perceived as crucial to enhancing agricultural production, but, at the same time, they are toxic recalcitrant substances.
The EPA permits over 200 different pesticides to be used for lawn care, and these are often mixed together and sold as chemical combinations. They are intentionally toxic substances. The environmental impact of lawns largely depends on the intensity of management (Cameron et al., 2012). If fertilisers, pesticides, and herbicides are used, the surrounding surface water and groundwater may be affected. Indeed, commonly used lawn-care chemicals can persist in soil and water for weeks, which can lead to the contamination of aquatic resources and local wildlife.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, homeowners use up to 10 times more chemical pesticides per acre on their lawns than farmers use on crops. Some pesticides commonly used on lawns and gardens in U.S. states have been banned or restricted in other countries because of concerns about health effects. For example, many Canadian municipalities have banned or severely restricted the use of lawn-care pesticides.
A growing body of evidence in scientific literature shows that pesticide exposure can adversely affect neurological, respiratory, immune, and endocrine systems in humans, even at low levels. Children are especially sensitive to pesticide exposure as they take in more pesticides relative to their body weight than adults. Children have developing organ systems that are more vulnerable and less able to detoxify harmful chemicals. Some chemicals commonly used on lawns and gardens have been associated with birth defects, mutations, adverse reproductive effects, and cancer in laboratory animals (EHHI).
A LAWN WITHOUT CHEMICALS OR HEALTH HAZARDS
Fortunately, there are proven safe, effective, and affordable ways to maintain attractive lawns and playable fields without the use of toxic pesticides. One such option is called Turfscape, a synthetic turf that is created out of engineered materials. Innovative Turfscape is an alternative to traditional lawns, and it helps more eco-conscious residential customers conserve water, cut down on the costs of lawn care, and maintain the cultural connection to the appearance and pride in a home lawn.
And because no pesticides or fertilizers are needed to keep a Turfscape® lawn healthy, Turfscape® diminishes health impacts to exposed populations like children, the elderly, and pets. Local aquifers remain unaffected. So, too, are wildlife and their habitats protected.