A warning against using pesticides

To the Editor:
After attending a two-day conference about pesticides which was sponsored by “Beyond Pesticides” and held at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, with professionals and volunteers from all across the country, who are involved in education and research about the hazards of pesticides, I thought it was time to get down and dirty about the truth and risks of using pesticides, so the homeowners could begin to protect their families and neighbors, especially the young and very young children and pregnant mothers.

If you are a three step chemical user, first be pre-warned that that high dose of nitrogen fertilizer will attract all the bad bugs. The pesticide in some bags contain 2,4 -D the same formula that was used in Vietnam, called Agent Orange. The risks from 2,4-D to children and pregnant mothers are: cancer, childhood leukemia, brain cancer and soft tissue sarcoma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, and other learning disorders.)
And if that is not enough, these chemical fertilizers and pesticides are damaging the waters and aquatic life in Long Island Sound, which once sustained multi-million dollar industries. Pesticides are designed to kill and they do.
Facts about going organic are: You will be a steward of the Earth. It is safer and more sustainable. It is cheaper and easier to maintain, By cutting higher, three inches, and leaving the cuttings on, you are not only building up the sod, making it softer under foot, it promotes a deeper root system, requiring less water and maintains the good organisms in the soil, making them less vulnerable to disease and bad insects. In the fall mulch the leaves on the lawn; that and your grass clippings is all the fertilizer it needs.
Did you know that the City of Milford hasn't been using pesticides on public lands, parks and schools for nearly 20 years, and take a look at the Green, it is maintained only with watering and seeding and it survives two major events each month between May and October, plus the Oyster Festival with nearly 60,000 people trampling over it.
We need to show more respect for the soil on our Earth as it is the mainstay for our survival along with protecting our water supplies. Now the bees, which pollinate most of our vegetables, are being impacted by these pesticides.
Ann Berman Freedom Lawn Co-chair