New Report: Pesticides Putting Children’s Future in Jeopardy

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a press release about a new report issued yesterday by the Pesticide Action Network North America. Click KidsHealthReportOct2012 for the full report.

Emerging Science Points to Pesticides as a Key Contributor to Childhood Diseases and Disorders, Requiring Swift Action from Policymakers

OAKLAND, Calif – Learning disabilities, childhood cancer and asthma are on the rise in the United States. And a new report out today points to pesticides – with over 1 billion pounds applied on farms and homes annually – as a critical contributor to these health harms in children.

“Protecting our children from harm is the fundamental duty of parenthood, but how can we do this when developmental toxicants are allowed to freely circulate in our economy?” says Sandra Steingraber, ecologist and acclaimed author. “PAN’s report shines a light on a completely preventable tragedy – that an entire generation of children will not reach its full potential. As such, it describes a violation of human rights and a crisis of family life both. For the healthy development of children to become a national priority, we parents must walk ourselves into the political arena and, waving this good report, speak truth to power.”

In particular, the report points to the fact that children are sicker today than a generation ago, confronting serious health challenges from pesticides and other chemical exposures that their parents and grandparents were unlikely to face.

Health professionals, mothers and rural leaders across the country released the new report, which draws from academic and government research, to chronicle the emerging threat of pesticides to children’s health. Compiled by researchers and scientists at Pesticide Action Network, A Generation in Jeopardy: How pesticides are undermining our children’s health and intelligence focuseson studies published within the past five years – a growing body of evidence that convincingly demonstrates a link between pesticide exposure and childhood health harms.

“Pesticides can have unique and profound impacts on the developing child, even in very small amounts. The research shows that prenatal exposure to pesticides, in combination with other environmental and genetic factors,can contribute to increased risk of adverse health consequences, such as effects on the developing brain” said Dr. Tracey Woodruff, Director, Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, University of California San Francisco, “We must take swift action to reduce exposure to harmful environmental chemicals to ensure healthier generations”

The report shines a light on the growing links between exposure to pesticides where children, live, learn and play and an array of impacts on the mind and body – including diminished IQ, ADHD autism, childhood cancers and asthma. In particular, the report points to the following trends across studies:

· The brains and nervous systems of boys are significantly more affected than girls.

· Timing of exposure is critically important. If a child is exposed to even very small amounts of a harmful pesticide during a particular moment of development, the impacts can be severe – and often irreversible.

· Studies link exposure to pesticides during pregnancy to increased risk of childhood leukemia and brain cancer. And children who live in intensively agricultural areas are more likely to have childhood cancer.

The report outlines a series of urgent recommendations for state and federal policymakers to better protect children’s health and intelligence, recommendations emphasized by organizations on Tuesday.

“Enough scientific evidence is in – we can’t fail our children. While individual household choices can help, protecting kids from the health harms of pesticides requires real and swift policy change,” said Emily Marquez, PhD, report co-author and staff scientist at Pesticide Action Network. “Dramatically reducing pesticide use, starting with those most hazardous to children, is the best way to protect current and future generations.”

The report points to the need for the following reforms to reduce pesticide use:

· Create stronger policy tools so enforcement agencies can take swift action to pull existing pesticides off the market and block new pesticides when independent studies suggest they are harmful to children.

· Increase investment and support for innovative farmers as they transition away from pesticide use.

· Set and track national pesticide use reduction goals, focusing first on those pesticides that studies show are harmful to children.

· Withdraw harmful pesticide products from use in homes, daycare centers and schools.

· Establish pesticide-free zones around schools, daycare centers and neighborhoods in agricultural areas to protect children from harmful exposures, especially pesticide drift.

The report highlights states and communities across the country where innovative policies have been put in place to protect children from
pesticides where they live, learn and play. From pesticide-free playing fields in Connecticut to protective buffer zones for schools and neighborhoods in California’s central valley and organic school lunch programs in Minnesota, policies designed to keep children out of harm’s way are gaining momentum.

The report was released today in ten cities across the country, including Bakersfield, Des Moines, Fresno, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Sacramento, Salinas, San Francisco, Stockton, and Ventura.
# # #

Pesticide Action Network North America (PAN North America, or PANNA) works to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. As one of five PAN Regional Centers worldwide, the organization is committed to science grounded in communities.

Available for interviews:

Emily Marquez, PhD, report co-author and staff scientist at Pesticide Action Network

Kristin Schafer, MA, mother, report co-author and senior policy strategist at Pesticide Action Network

Tracey Woodruff, PhD, MPH, director of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment and expert on health policies that reduce the impacts of environmental contaminants on reproductive and developmental health

Denise O’Brien, fourth generation Iowa farmer


Paul Towers
Organizing Media Director
Pesticide Action Network North America
“Advancing alternatives to pesticides worldwide”

1611 Telegraph Ave | Suite 1200 | Oakland, CA 94612 (Please note our new address)
Phone :: 415.625.9072 | Cell :: 916.216.1082
www.panna.org | www.whatsonmyfood.org | www.panna.org/blog

Article source: http://www.safelawns.org/blog/2012/10/new-report-pesticides-putting-childrens-future-in-jeopardy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-report-pesticides-putting-childrens-future-in-jeopardy

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Historic DC Pesticide Ban Spurs Interest Across US

Two weeks since SafeLawns announced the historic pesticide protection legislation passed at the Nation’s Capitol, numerous other municipalities have been calling us for information about how it happened. We won’t mention them here; at this point that would only tip the hand of the chemical pesticide lobby groups.

Your every step is important.

First off, here’s the DC bill; the wording is critical:

dcpestbill

Each situation brings its own nuances, but here’s link to a post that every municipality should read before it takes on the fight toward a pesticide ban:

http://www.safelawns.org/blog/index.php/2012/02/trying-to-ban-pesticides-get-your-strategy-correct-first/

The most important first step we would recommend after being involved with dozens of these initiatives? Find your own version of Mary Cheh — an elected official willing to take this on.

Beyond that, give us a call. We’re always willing to help. Feel free to give us a call or send an email to Paul@SafeLawns.org.

Article source: http://www.safelawns.org/blog/index.php/2012/07/historic-dc-pesticide-ban-spurs-interest-across-us/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=historic-dc-pesticide-ban-spurs-interest-across-us

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Get Out & Play America: The Radio Tour is Tomorrow

As a part of the kickoff for our book, Tag, Toss Run: 40 Classic Lawn Games, our publisher, Storey, has arranged for a 24-city radio tour . . . and Victoria Rowell and I don’t even have to leave the comfort of our own homes.

We’ll be talking about getting off the couch and getting back outside, as well as how to maintain landscapes naturally without toxic substances. So if you’re within earshot, listen in. Or if you see a station on the list, below, and your friend or family member lives in that area send this link.

In addition to the stations listed, we’ll also be on:
12:45-1:00 p.m., Hartford, Ct., WDRC-FM/WWCO/WSNG/WMMU-AM; 1:00-1:10 p.m., New York, WCBS-AM; 1:25-1:35 p.m., Sacramento, KAHI-AM; 2:20-2:30 p.m., Philly, WWJF-AM;
2:30-2:40 p.m., Charlotte, WGIV-FM; 2:45-3:00 p.m., Minneapolis, KTOE-AM.

Article source: http://www.safelawns.org/blog/index.php/2012/04/get-out-play-america-the-radio-tour-is-tomorrow/

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Northeastern Students Relish Their Day in the Sun

A Northeastern University student attempts Double Jump between the ropes during the school’s Tag, Toss Run field day last Tuesday. (Northeastern Photo)

Northeastern University student Karly Domsky offered this review of the Tag, Toss Run field day presented by SafeLawns last Tuesday:
http://www.lib.neu.edu/snippets/?p=4879. Here is a link to our post earlier in the week: http://www.safelawns.org/blog/index.php/2012/04/hundreds-of-college-students-enjoy-lawn-games-in-boston/

Article source: http://www.safelawns.org/blog/index.php/2012/04/northeastern-students-relish-their-day-in-the-sun/

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Mid March Seedling Update! (Seed Sowing Saturday)

I thought with this Seed Sowing Saturday post I would update you on how my seeds are coming more so than talk about new seeds. In fact I can sum up the new stuff in with simple sentence: I sowed ‘Rudbeckia Cappuccino’, ‘Starlight’ Coneflower, and Penstemon. There, that was easy! I’ve been busily getting the garden ready outdoors this week and haven’t spent as much time with the seed sowing as I should. I have many more seeds I want to get planted so I had better get my act together!

Now for the grande seed sowing update:

Sowed in the vegetable Garden: Lettuce, Spinach, Red Onions, Red Potatoes, Yukon Gold Potatoes, Sugar snap peas, and asparagus! OK I’ll admit it, the asparagus wasn’t from seed.
Still to Plant Outside ASAP: Bok Choy, cabbage, carrots, beets, and radishes.
Indoors: Lots of tomatoes! Including Black Krim, Brandywine, Orange Sungold, Chianti Rose, ‘Woodle Orange’, and Cherokee Purple.
Still needs planted indoors: Peppers, Basil, Dill

Direct Sow after last Frost Date: Cucumbers, Melons including ‘Tigger’, ‘Old Time Tennessee’, ‘Jenny Lind’, and regular old cantaloupe. Also Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Purple Hull Peas

So there’s my seed sowing update list. I may have left something out – I usually forget something! Hopefully this weekend I’ll get the remaining direct sow vegetable planted.

And to show you some progress here are some pictures of my tomato seedlings!

The tomatoes in the foam containers are doing great. The stevia hasn’t germinated yet but it may need more time. Each tray has 8 out of nine tomato plants germinating.

Some of the first tomatoes I planted are putting out their true leaves. One month from now and I should be able to plant these guys outside! Soon I may transplant them into larger size pots in my garden shed to make more room for seeds indoors.

How are your seeds doing?

To join in on Seed Sowing Saturday just link back to this post and tell us about your seed sowing experiences over the past week. Be sure to leave a link below so we can come over and visit your post! Don’t forget a Tweet or a Facebook mention/like is always a good thing! Happy Seed Sowing!

Don’t forget to visit these seed sowers!

  • Sarah at Green Love Grass
  • Originally written by Dave @ The Home Garden
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    Another Round of Tomato Seeds (Seed Sowing Saturday)

    This week I started another batch of tomato seeds. For the last set of tomato seeds I used peat seed starting trays, this time I used washed mushroom containers, yogurt cups, and an old refrigerator plastic drawer! Not too long ago our refrigerator decided to quit and we had to replace it. I kept the plastic drawers from the old one in the garage because they looked like something I could use for plant propagation. They just looked like great trays to use to house my seed starts!

    Into the tray I was able to fit 4 foam mushroom containers and four yogurt containers. I punched holes in the bottom of all the containers except for the seed tray (refrigerator drawer) filled them with dirt and planted!

    I used my finger as a dibber and made 9 hole sin each of the mushroom containers for tomato seeds. That gives me a total of 36 possible tomato plants. I won’t be using all of these for my own garden, some will go to friends and family while some may end up for sale at a community garage sale later this spring.

    Red Zebra, Black Krim, Chianti Rose, and Orange Sungold were the tomatoes but into the yogurt cups went stevia. I’ve heard that stevia is a really good sweetener and I like my tea sweet so I thought we would give it a try.  You can see my son in the background sitting in his high chair watching me plant seeds. It won’t be long before he’ll be running around planting in the garden too!

    Here’s the result of our seed starting. I used old washed forks to make labels for the planting containers. It’s cheap and easy. Two very good words! Don’t you think?

    What seeds did you get started this week?

    To join in on Seed Sowing Saturday just link back to this post and tell us about your seed sowing experiences over the past week. Be sure to leave a link below so we can come over and visit your post! Don’t forget a Tweet or a Facebook mention/like is always a good thing! Happy Seed Sowing!

    This week’s seed starters!
  • Sarah at Green Love Grass
  • Shannon at The Garden State
  • Lynda at Cortina Creek
  • I’m sorry I’m late in updating this and reading the blogs. I spent nearly the whole day outdoors enjoying the garden and the perfect weather! I’m sure you understand!

    Originally written by Dave @ The Home Garden
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    Spinach, Lettuce, and Tomatoes! (Seed Sowing Saturday)

    Today’s Seed Sowing Saturday post for me is more about the results than starting new seed. My daughter and I did plant some onion sets (probably about 70 some weren’t worth planting) and some potatoes (about 16 red potatoes). We still need to plant the Yukon golds which are my favorite potato.

    So lets take a look at what we have growing!

    The lettuce seedlings in the garden have a good start.  The cotyledons are leafed out to gather more sun to make the new lettuce leaves.

    The spinach is at the same stage as the lettuce.  

    The tomatoes are all sprouting along! Brandywine, Woodle Orange, and Cherokee purple have all germinated. I have them under grow lights indoors. We have about 6 weeks before it’s safe to plant them outside here in Middle Tennessee (Spring Hill).

    And the close-up!

    I have several other varieties of tomatoes and peppers that need started ASAP. I like to have good sized plants right after the frost date to give them as much time to grow as possible. When I plant the tomatoes I strip the side leaves then bury the whole plant up to the top leaves. Tomatoes root along the stem so the more stem that is beneath the soil the more roots form – and more roots is always a good thing for tomatoes! I choose to plant my plants deep rather that in a trench but both methods work great!

    To join in on Seed Sowing Saturday just link back to this post and tell us about your seed sowing experiences over the past week. Be sure to leave a link below so we can come over and visit your post! Don’t forget a Tweet or a Facebook mention/like is always a good thing! Happy Seed Sowing!

    Here are the Seed Sowers for this Saturday!

    Originally written by Dave @ The Home Garden
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    Starting the Tomatoes! (Seed Sowing Saturday)

    This week finally found me getting into some real seed starting action. The first of my seed orders came in within three days of ordering (here is my seed order for 2011) and today I started my tomatoes! Tomatoes are always the main crop in our garden and without them our garden is incomplete. Fresh from the garden tomatoes are simply a gift from heaven! We can them, turn them into sauces, make pico de galla combined with our cilantro crops, eat them plain or with a little dab of sea salt, and most importantly… make sandwiches! A turkey and tomato sandwich with mayo is a summertime favorite of mine. I know it sounds so simple but it is good! Of course the traditional BLT is pretty awesome too.

    Starting tomatoes is pretty easy. I used square peat pot starting cells filled with seed starting mixture to get things off right. Before planting the seeds I moistened all the soil then added the seeds and pressed them into the soil to make good contact. After that I simply covered the seeds with soil. Now I have to wait. Once they begin to germinate I’ll lift the plastic lid to allow better air circulation which will help prevent fungal diseases like damping off.

    I started ‘Brandywine’, ‘Woodle Orange’ (you should Google this one with ‘Orange Woodle’- Google will ask you if you meant “Orange Poodle!” I haven’t seen many orange poodles, have you?), and ‘Black Krim’. All heirlooms and all delicious! 

    The shallots are doing OK but seem a bit spindly and may need to be moved closer to the light. So far I haven’t seen any germination in my other starts but it may be too early yet.

    Have you started your tomatoes yet?

    To join in on Seed Sowing Saturday just link back to this post and tell us about your seed sowing experiences over the past week. Be sure to leave a link below so we can come over and visit your post! Oh, and a Tweet or a Facebook mention/like is always a good thing! Happy Seed Sowing!

    This Week’s Seed Sowers!

    Originally written by Dave @ The Home Garden
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    Sowing in the Garden (Seed Sowing Saturday)

    This week I actually found myself outdoors sowing seeds directly into the soil of my garden. Thanks to wonderful Tennessee weather, where you can count on a few days of warm even in February, we’re able to plant a few cool season crops this month.

    So far in the vegetable garden I’ve planted:

    • Lettuce – two varieties Little Gem, and Tom Thumb
    • Spinach – a hybrid
    • Sugar snap peas
    • Garlic (done in the fall)
    • Cilantro (self-sows regularly in the fall)

    I planted the lettuce and spinach into my circular raised bed that just recently was put together. I arranged three sticks to divide the area into six sections. Four of the sections are planted and soon I’ll fill the last two with my red lettuce. If we get some really cold weather these plants may need some covering.

    I’m planting the sugar snap peas everywhere I can this year. They are delicious right out of the garden and we never seem to have enough. They rarely even make it into the house! Once they have stopped producing we’ll let the foliage die back and nourish the soil with the nitrogen it fixed while growing. Legumes are a great resource! About that time I’ll be able to plant my tomatoes in the garden in and around the fast fading peas.

    To plant them I just dig a trench with a trowel about 1.5 – 2 inches deep, place my seeds, cover, and water! Now if only the deer will stay away…

    How are your seeds coming?

    To join in on Seed Sowing Saturday just link back to this post and tell us about your seed sowing experiences over the past week. Be sure to leave a link below so we can come over and visit your post! Oh, and a Tweet or a Facebook mention/like is always a good thing!

    Visit these Seed Starters!

    Originally written by Dave @ The Home Garden
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    Sowing in Recycled Containers (Seed Sowing Saturday)


    I never let a good container go to waste (much to my wife’s dismay – admittedly, I do save way too many)! These foam containers are perfect for sowing seeds just like the store bought flats. Just poke a few holes for drainage in the bottom add soil, seeds, and water and you have an instant garden. Well, maybe not instant, it does have to grow a bit.

    Into these three makeshift flats I planted dianthus, Asiatic lilies, and clematis seeds that I collected back in the fall. In case you’re wondering these containers previously held mushrooms – I know that was a hard one to figure out. ;)

     

    Those newly planted seeds are now sitting under a grow light along with the shallot seedlings I planted a couple weeks ago. So far they look pretty good. They are germinating at different times but overall the germination rate has been great.

    Our last frost date here in Middle Tennessee is in mid April which means we have a little over 8 weeks until it’s safe to plant tender plants outdoors. Pretty soon it will be time to start one of my favorite vegetables — Tomatoes! But until then the cool season crops are just about ready to start. I can’t wait to taste some sugar snap peas from the garden!  How about you?

    To join in on Seed Sowing Saturday just link back to this post and tell us about your seed sowing experiences over the past week. Be sure to leave a link below so we can come over and visit your post! Oh, and a Tweet or a Facebook mention/like is always a good thing!

    This Saturday’s Seed Sowers!

    Originally written by Dave @ The Home Garden
    Not to be reproduced or re-blogged without permission. No feed scraping is permitted.
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