The lush green lawns are beautiful. But to get them and keep them that way, we usually have to use things like pesticides and fertilizers. There are risks associated with these products because they are made from chemicals that can be dangerous to humans and animals. Care must therefore be taken when using and storing them.
It is a common myth that some pesticides are “safe” and others are “dangerous”. All chemicals have the potential to be hazardous. If you touch, eat or breathe a chemical substance, it can harm your health. Some chemicals cause immediate effects, such as rashes, vomiting, excessive sweating, dizziness, headaches, muscle aches, cramps, eye irritation, and breathing problems. Others have been linked to long-term effects such as cancer, birth defects, and damage to the kidneys, liver, and nervous system.
When using lawn treatments that contain any type of chemicals, it is important to take precautions to ensure your safety. It is equally important to take steps to ensure that anyone in your household or who visits your home is safe.
How to Safely Use Lawn Treatments
To safely use pesticides and fertilizers:
- Read the label carefully and follow all directions.
- Wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, socks and closed shoes.
- Protect your face with goggles, a hat, and a mask that covers your nose and mouth.
- Wear nitrile, butyl or neoprene gloves. Never wear leather or cloth gloves as they absorb pesticides.
- If chemicals come into contact with your face, hands or skin, wash them off immediately.
Once you have finished applying lawn products:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. Shower as soon as possible.
- Change your clothes, put them in a plastic bag and leave the bag outside. Wash clothes separately from other clothes before wearing them again.
- Store your shoes outside the house, away from children and pets.
- Check the product label to see how long you have to wait before the lawn is safe. Stay off the lawn and keep children and pets away from the area for at least as long as recommended.
How to safely store pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals:
- Always store any product containing chemicals in its original packaging and keep the label with the safety instructions.
- Keep out of reach of children and pets. Best stored in a locked cupboard in a well-ventilated utility area or shed.
- Keep away from food, feed and medical supplies.
- If it is flammable, keep it away from dwellings and away from the furnace, car, grill or lawn mower.
- Stay away from areas where flooding is possible or where chemicals could enter the water supply.
Most lawn products rely on chemicals to do what they are meant to do. There are also more natural and organic ways to get the job done. These treatments are generally safer, but they are not always as effective. If you choose to use chemical-based lawn treatments like pesticides and fertilizers, follow all safety guidelines carefully and use them responsibly.