Monday, August 19, 2013

Staying Safe from Pesticides

Have you seen these little yellow signs? Lately, I've been noticing warnings in a lot of places, including my daughter's daycare center and around our neighborhood. It is somewhat concerning to me as a parent and an environmentalist. I know that these chemicals can be carried into our waterways by eroding soil particles and have negative effects on the ecosystem. Here are a few studies and facts that show disturbing human health effects:
That doesn't sound like anything I want breezing through a window of our home or Babygirl's classroom! I also get concerned about her breathing in pesticides while we're playing outside; I took the photo above near the sidewalk outside our home.

My next step in educating myself more about pesticides use around us is to investigate exactly what chemicals get used by the landscaping company that works in our neighborhood. That way, if I discover any alarming information, I can alert our leasing company with my specific, direct concerns. In the meantime, I will proceed with the following safety tips:

Pesticide Safety Tips
Utilize safer, natural pest control methods at home, such as mulching or "good bugs" like ladybugs and praying mantises in your garden. 

If you must use pesticides, make sure they are stored and sealed safely away from little ones, and your yard is terraced to reduce run-off. Don't spray before a big rain!

Put away kids' toys and cover sandboxes before you spray. Make sure everyone is out of the area before pesticide is applied, and don't let little ones back in the area until spray has dried or granules are no longer visible.

Learn more about how your neighborhood, schools, and locality apply pesticides. Fairfax County's Comprehensive Policy Plan objectives state to "[m]inimize the application of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides to lawns and landscaped areas," but I'm interested in learning what, if any, specific guidelines are in place. I'm going to start at a super-local level and speak with my leasing office and Babygirl's daycare first, so I know what I'm dealing with!

Are you concerned about pesticide application around the places where your family lives and plays? Would you be interested or willing to speak with local leaders about your concerns? Let me know what would inspire you to take action!

Stay safe, stay healthy!
The Yuppie Hippie

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