To Use ChemLawn” Campaign Launched in Massachusetts
(Beyond Pesticides, March 17, 2005)
Citing the public health and environmental dangers of lawn pesticides
used by TruGreen ChemLawn (ChemLawn), Toxics Action Center, based in
Boston, kicked off a campaign to urge homeowners to “Refuse to
Use ChemLawn,” the largest lawn care service in the nation.
Toxics Action Center also released a 96-page report, Be
Truly Green. Refuse to Use ChemLawn -- Why Lawn Care Pesticides are
Dangerous to Your Children, Pets and the Environment, which
documents the dangerous impacts of ChemLawn‘s services.
“When customers contract with ChemLawn, they believe they are
signing up for a green plush lawn. What many customers do not know is
that they are signing up for a program that exposes their children,
pets and water supplies to an arsenal of toxic pesticides,” said
Jay Rasku, Massachusetts State Director of Toxics Action Center.
Toxics Action Center analyzed the pesticides listed on a ChemLawn receipt
* 53% (17 of 32) of ChemLawn’s pesticide products include ingredients
that are possible carcinogens, as defined by the United States Environmental
Protection Agency (USEPA) and the World Health Organization’s
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
* All 32 of ChemLawn’s pesticide products include ingredients
that pose threats to the environment, including threats to water supplies,
aquatic organisms, and non-targeted insects.
* 13 of 32 (41%) of ChemLawn’s pesticide products include ingredients
that are banned or restricted in other countries.
“These pesticides pose a significant threat to children and pets.
As a doctor, I believe we should minimize our exposure to dangerous
pesticides and I urge residents and industries to look for and use all
possible healthy alternatives,” said Sean Palfrey, M.D. President,
Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The report also shows the difficulty that customers may have finding
out information about TruGreen ChemLawn pesticide products. The company’s
website lists none of the pesticides used in its program and anecdotal
evidence shows that ChemLawn’s telemarketers do not readily release
information about the pesticides or their public health and environmental
“I hired TruGreen ChemLawn with their assurance that they would
provide an effective and safe program for my lawn. But the next day
my dog became violently ill and was treated for pesticide poisoning.
As an expecting mom, I urge other parents to play it safe and avoid
using pesticides,” said Joanna Glennon, from Melrose Massachusetts.
Toxics Action Center
is urging residents to “Refuse to Use ChemLawn” until the
company agree to demands to reduce its use of toxic pesticides, provide
notification about the pesticides’ health impacts, and provide
a truly organic lawn care service.
“We all want our lawns to be healthy and green. My experience
is that you don’t need pesticides to get you there. Why expose
our families and pets to these poisons, when there are safer and equally
effective methods for lawn care?” said Mary Mintz, a New England
Organic Farming Association (NOFA) accredited organic land care professional.
Toxics Action Center has set up www.RefuseToUseChemLawn.org
to provide more information to residents about the campaign. Tools will
be available for homeowners to initiate local outreach campaigns to
educate their neighbors on the dangers of TruGreen ChemLawn. Since 1987,
Toxics Action Center has assisted more than 500 neighborhoods across
New England in their campaigns against toxic pollution issues in their
Action. Help stop the use of lawn pesticides in your community,
on school grounds, in parks, and other public spaces. Educate your neighbors
about the dangers of lawn pesticides and the efficacy of non-toxic alternatives.
For more information, Beyond Pesticides’