End the use of chemical herbicides in the Fairlington Meadows

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We, the residents of the Fairlington Meadows, call on the Fairlington Meadows Board to discontinue the application of all chemical herbicides and pesticides on Meadows property as soon as possible.

Meadows lawns are currently subject to treatment by the pre-emergent herbicide Dimension in the spring and two treatments of the herbicide Tenacity in the summer and late fall.

According to a 2016 European Food Safety Authority Peer Reviewed Risk Assessment, the active ingredient in Tenacity, mesotrione," may be considered to have endocrine disrupting properties." Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that at certain doses can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. The same European assessment also concludes that data gaps and a critical area of concern exist regarding the long-term risk of mesotrione to wild mammals and bees.

The EPA has found that Tenacity “can contaminate water through drift of spray in wind” and “has a high potential for runoff for several weeks after application.” Dimension, according to its manufacturer, Dow Chemical, “is toxic to fish and highly toxic to other aquatic organisms.” This is alarming given that Fairlington’s sewers feed into the threatened Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Given the above, we urge you to follow the example of the Fairlington Glen Board which chooses not to apply any herbicides or pesticides to its grounds. A weed-free lawn is not worth the possible long-term risk to human and environmental health posed by the use of these chemicals.