Say no to spraying toxic chemicals around playgrounds and public spaces in the Lakelands
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In 2015, Montgomery County enacted the Healthy Lawns Act, a law that stops the routine use of harmful pesticides on lawns, playgrounds, mulched recreation areas, and children's facilities (and their grounds). The bill found that:
- "pesticides, by definition, contain toxic substances, many of which may have a detrimental effect on human health and the environment and, in particular, may have developmental effects on children;"
- "exposure to certain pesticides has been linked to a host of serious conditions in children including pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems such as ADHD, and the following conditions in adults: Parkinson's disease, diabetes, leukemia, lymphoma, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia, reproductive dysfunction, Alzheimer's disease, and a variety of cancers including breast, colon, prostate and lung cancer;"
- "[...] the unnecessary use of pesticides and herbicides for cosmetic purposes contributes to the deterioration of water quality, as substantiated by several studies including the 2014 USGS study which found that 90% of urban waterways have pesticide levels high enough to harm aquatic life;"
- "there are non- and less-toxic alternatives and methods of cultivating a healthy, green lawn that do not pose a threat to public health, and that use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes is not necessary for the management of lawns, especially in light of the risks associated with their use;"
- "in the absence of adequate regulation at the federal or State level, the County is compelled to act to protect the health of children, families, pets and the environment."
Great!—but why haven't we experienced these changes in our community? The City of Gaithersburg is not required to follow this law, as it is an unincorporated part of Montgomery County.
But there is hope! Several years ago, many Kentlands residents worked to get the Kentlands HOA to minimize the use of pesticides in lawn care due to health concerns, successfully advocating for the Healthy Lawns Act.
Let's work towards this same goal for the Lakelands community—to the benefit of our children, families, pets, water supply, and sustainable future. Please sign this petition and spread the word!
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Sara Huneke needs your help with “Lakelands: Say no to spraying toxic chemicals around playgrounds and public spaces in the Lakelands”. Join Sara and 117 supporters today.