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Maryland county considers banning harmful pesticides - with natural, non-toxic lawn care tips


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(NaturalNews) The war on pesticides is an ongoing fight, where those concerned about their own health, as well as that of the environment, attempt to convey its problems to those who advocate using them.

Most recently, this battle has become very apparent in Montgomery County, Maryland. There, many residents, environmental activists and public health experts have been involved in heated debates about whether or not Bill 52-14 -- which would ban certain lawn chemicals and pesticides -- should pass.

Several county members are concerned that the toxins being cradled by blades of grass and leeching into lawns are threats to their children, pets and themselves. Many parents, for example, have homed in on the possible detrimental effects from when their children play sporting events on treated lawns for extended periods of time.

Pesticides cause for concern; National Cancer Institute asked to weigh in

County Councilman Roger Berliner has even reached out to the director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Harold Varmus, MD, asking for his assistance in passing the bill.

In a letter that Berliner wrote to Varmus, he said of the proposed bill, "The legislation is predicated upon the belief held by many that the exposure to pesticides poses an unacceptable risk to human health, animal health and the environment notwithstanding that the Environmental Protection Agency permits their use." He added, "Our Council and community would greatly benefit from understanding what the NCI's research relating to pesticide exposure has concluded."

Some residents angered, want right to use pesticides to keep lawns lush and green

However, there are those who are firm opponents of the idea, suggesting that the county is on the fast track to becoming a "nanny state." They maintain that certain freedoms and personal choices should remain intact and that it's not up to the government to monitor such things. Interestingly, Maryland is one of several states that allows localities to pass their own laws; typically, pesticide regulation is a responsibility for the state and federal level.

Stephen Anderson, for example, feels that he deserves to have a lush, green lawn provided by pesticides. "My lawn is such a little fragment of American Freedom," he said. "Please respect it."

While others like him likely fear losing freedoms and becoming part of a "nanny state," one can -- and should, if they are concerned about health on all levels -- argue that its a small loss to handle if staying healthy is the goal. We're talking about potentially coming down with cancer, and little children and pets rolling around and eating toxic chemicals.

Hardly a "nanny" state, rather, a healthy one

Let's see. A pretty patch of a green lawn or becoming horribly ill down the road? And for those who say that this possible bill is similar to those that would take away other rights, such as the rights to bear arms, well, that's comparing apples to oranges. This particular matter is simply about removing toxins from the environment, much like there are regulations in place that ban smoking in many public areas. It's that simple.

"I think the majority of my constituents want to see Montgomery be the cleanest, safest county in America," said Council President George Leventhal, who lives in Takoma Park, which already passed its own ban back in 2013.

For those who favor the bill, and the idea of banning pesticides in general -- regardless of where you live -- there are ways to care for your lawn naturally.

Mr. Anderson, are you listening?

Natural lawn care tips

First, resist the urge to mow frequently. Let the grass get a little taller; this allows the grass to create shade for unsightly weeds and helps stunt their growth. Furthermore, it also facilitates the photosynthesis process and makes grass grow better by sufficiently feeding the roots.

A related tip is to also be mindful of the mower's blade setting. One set too low often results in the grass turning brown.

Finally, be sure to leave the clippings on the lawn instead of raking them up after mowing. Leaving them on the lawn delivers nutrients back into the soil, creating a healthy-looking lawn.





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