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Jean Krogh & Bob Solosko: Dismayed by presence of lawn care chemicals

To the editor:

We are writing in agreement with previous letters in the Gazette about the dangers of lawn pesticides and herbicides.

Whenever the little yellow warning flags are used by landscape companies, we know that poison in the form of pesticides or herbicides has been applied to that lawn. Private homeowners use the same toxic lawn chemicals but without putting up the yellow flags.

In a column in the Boston Globe many years ago, Linda Weltner called these yellow warning flags “flags of shame.” We are always dismayed when we see these yellow flags on grass at health care facilities, continuing care communities, pharmacies and other places where the focus is supposedly on health and well-being.

Recently we attended Easthampton’s Art Walk. In a small park at the corner of Union and Railroad streets stood a group of musicians. Enjoying the music were adults sitting or standing on the grass, toddlers and little children running and tumbling on the grass.

And at the edge of that plot of grass was a yellow poison warning flag. Toxic substances had been applied to that grass. The adults seemed oblivious to the sign or its implications.

These powerful chemicals especially affect the small bodies of children and pets and have been linked with childhood leukemia, miscarriages, endocrine disruption, hyperactivity, developmental delays and more.

A Sierra Club 2006 report states: “A lawn care company that claims the pesticides applied to your lawn are safe can be prosecuted under federal law for this false claim. ... Chronic effects, from cumulative, repeated, low dose exposure may show up years or a generation later. ... You are potentially poisoning family and neighbors by allowing pesticides to be used on your property.”

There are healthier ways to have attractive lawns.

Jean Krogh

Bob Solosko

Easthampton

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