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Connie Nardini, St. Paul
Currently, appearance is trumping health
Special thanks for the May 13 commentary by Dr. Diane Lewis (“Is your lawn loaded?”) regarding the direct connection of pesticides going from our lawns and gardens into our drinking water and into our bodies.
As an avid walker in my Edina neighborhood and around my Bryn Mawr work neighborhood, I smell lawn chemical applications from spring to autumn. Every other residential and commercial property owner, it seems, has the goal of having a gorgeous, green, weed-free lawn. I’ve had to take detours to get away from the lawns and parks being sprayed.
No one in their right mind would have their indoor carpets sprayed with those stinky lawn chemicals on a regular basis, yet we’ve bought into the hype to have beautiful outdoor carpets at the expense of human and pet health. Please consider an alternative to toxic chemical spraying. Lewis has inspired me to present her article to my property manager and neighborhood organization to propose ending the practice or skipping a year or two between the applications.
Teresa Diffley, Edina
• • •
As someone who loves the outdoors and gardening and works with green industry professionals every day, I value safe, healthy outdoor spaces. Given this, it’s important to share how best management practices play a role in protecting our environment and our communities.
Pesticide products, including neonicotinoids, are important tools for managing disease-carrying insects, invasive pests and allergy-causing weeds. Together with other common-sense practices, the right pesticide — used when and where needed and according to label instructions — offers reliable control for problems that can impact our well-being and the environment.
It’s important to note that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rigorously reviews the most current scientific and health data for all pesticide products before they are made available for use. Once approved, pesticide products are continually assessed against current scientific and health standards to ensure they can be used safely.
As with all technology, pesticides have improved and continue to do so, making them more environmentally friendly and effective. For example, neonicotinoids replaced other products because of their favorable environmental profile and are registered under the EPA’s Conventional Reduced Risk Program.
Let’s not disregard the value these products offer. Instead, let’s commit to using them appropriately to protect the health of our communities.
Karen Reardon, Washington, D.C.
The writer is vice president of RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment).
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.