Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring = lawn flags and chemicals

It's only April 20th but it's a beautiful spring day, and I just took a fast-ish walk around my neighborhood to get some sun and exercise. Unfortunately, the little yellow lawn flags are back along with the sun, as well as the caustic scent of herbicide. This made me think of Sandra Steingraber's wonderful article Canadian Bylaws; American Lawn Flags which is already 2 years old, but still applies. She writes:
The smell of lawn chemicals is as dependable a harbinger of spring as robins and lilacs. Not in big parts of Canada, where many municipalities and provinces have opted to abolish the cosmetic use of pesticides on the grounds that the links between pesticide exposure and childhood cancer are too troubling to ignore. So, how come we're still using them?
Ironically, one lawn I saw today that had lawn flags also had a poster advertising a childhood brain cancer fundraiser. Um....

In any event, I'm happy to report that some folks in my town are bringing the film A Chemical Reaction to town next week.
A Chemical Reaction, is a 70 minute feature documentary movie that tells the story of one of the most powerful and effective community initiatives in the history of North America.  It started with one lone voice in 1984.  Dr. June Irwin, a dermatologist, noticed a connection between her patients’ health conditions and their exposure to chemical pesticides and herbicides.  With relentless persistence she brought her concerns to town meetings to warn her fellow citizens that the chemicals they were putting on their lawns posed severe health risks and had unknown side effects on the environment.
Maybe it will help.

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