May Newsletter
Garden & lawn safety!
Many people are now getting their lawn green & healthy for summer. It is all too easy to reach for a packaged solution – from fertilizers, to weed killers, & pesticides. If you decide to use chemicals to treat your lawn, keep in mind there are possible hazards. When used according to labeled directions, most products should cause little concern for human or animal safety, but that can change quickly when important instructions go unread or ignored.
Most of us want greener grass, not weeds. Herbicides, aka weed killers, are used to control weeds, such as dandelions, crabgrass, or other unwanted vegetation. Glyphosate is one of the poisonous ingredient used in many weed killer brands. Exposure usually happens through the skin, eyes & nose, which can cause irritation. Weed killers are usually applied multiple times, so be sure to follow safety measures each & every time. 
The next step in securing a green & lush lawn is to apply fertilizer. Some fertilizers contain nothing but essential plant nutrients, but de aware that organic products or naturally occurring chemicals are not automatically "safer" than man-made or synthetic products. An example would be diatomaceous earth. Be mindful that some fertilizers include herbicides and may have different guidelines and require different handling than regular fertilizers. Sweep excess fertilizer granules off hard surfaces, such as sidewalks, driveways and curbs.
Lastly, you may want to protect your plants & lawn from unwanted pests, so applying a pesticide would be the next step. Pesticides attack the central nervous system and other vital body centers, which means they are poisonous to a wide variety of living organisms. Children are exposed to pesticides more than adults are because they play or crawl on grass and floors.
It is important to pay special attention to the "re-entry" time, which is the time listed on the label required to wait between applying a product and going back into the area. It's good practice to always keep people and pets out of an area before, during, and immediately after applications — especially when an herbicide or pesticide is involved. 
Safety Tips:
  • Always wear shoes, a long-sleeved shirt, pants, eye protection, and any other equipment listed on the product label.
  • Properly measure concentrated formulations of lawn products.
  • Never apply more product than the amount listed on the label.
  • If the label designates a re-entry period, follow it.
  •  Always keep chemicals in their original container and store them tightly capped in a locked cabinet out of the reach of children and pets.

If an exposure occurs, call the Poison Helpline even if the product is listed as non-toxic.
If possible, have the following information ready in a poison emergency before dialing
  • Person's age, weight, and condition
  • Name of the product (ingredients and strength, if known)
  • Time of exposure
  • Amount involved