Everyone loves lush green grass . . . but at what cost?

Back in the early 70s, everyone around me was using weed killer to free their lawn from weeds and give them that lush green lawn they always wanted. My mom was the exception. She opposed this practice, arguing that exposing our environment to toxins would pollute our ground and underground water and would have significant adverse effects on people, especially children. She began grassroots efforts to stop this practice but it was a time when research had not yet been published as to the harmful effects of herbicides and people valued the aesthetic of their lawn over the health of the environment. Today, research has informed us of the serious effects of such toxins, and yet my mom is still one of the few homes I find that refuses to use pesticides. Most recently, in 2022 the EPA found that 87% of children have levels of pesticides in their bodies and that children were especially vulnerable to environmental toxins due to their small body mass. And, if homeowners will not limit their use of pesticides at least we

can do something to protect our children at school – an environment that is supposed to be safe. And that is why I love that Maine came up with an act to protect children from exposure to toxic chemicals stating that herbicides, including glyphosate, cannot be used within 75 feet of school grounds including playgrounds and athletic fields used by students or staff of a school. In addition, they are conducting research to better understand the effects of these pesticides.

I think this is a great step forward and I hope other states follow suit. I know my Mom, Louise Vallone, is proud of these efforts and will use these measures to try to convince others to enact the same legislation. Will you follow suit?