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Daily News Archive
From November 17, 2006                                                                                                        

TruGreen ChemLawn Urged To Phase-Out Dangerous Lawn Care Pesticides in Florida
(Beyond Pesticides, November 17, 2006)
This week Toxics Action Center launched its Refuse to Use ChemLawn campaign in Florida’s Sarasota region. Sarasota’s Division of ChemLawn received over one hundred phone calls over a three-day period this week from local activists urging the company to take immediate action to protect the health of children, pets, and the environment.

As part of the ChemLawn call-in, area residents are demanding that TruGreen ChemLawn discontinue their use of pesticides that are known possible carcinogens, offer a safe, non-toxic lawn-care program without the use of synthetic fertilizers, stop using children to market their products, disclose all ingredients in their pesticide products, and protect workers while phasing out pesticides.

The campaign kicked off over the weekend when activists hung 350 Refuse to Use ChemLawn pledge door-hangers in Lakewood Ranch, a deed-restricted neighborhood development known for its mandatory serviced lawns and toxic pesticides.

Toxics Action Center chose to work with Sarasota residentst because the region represents one of the largest markets for TruGreen ChemLawn in the nation. Many area residents are expressing their concerns about toxic fertilizer and pesticide lawn applications as a likely contributor to the Gulf’s worsening red tide problem. Although red tide is a naturally occurring algal bloom, fertilizer run-off is exacerbating it; the role of lawn service companies in this equation is unquestionable.

Local officials have pledged to develop a policy to reduce fertilizer use in the region and this could impact the typical weed and feed products used by chemical turf management companies. See Daily News, May 30, 2006.

“When customers contract with ChemLawn, they believe they are signing up for a plush, green 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. This campaign has been welcomed with so much enthusiasm and support" said Ashley Schaeffer, organizer for Toxics Action Center’s Refuse to Use ChemLawn campaign.

Along with the Toxics Action Center, area residents believe that clients have the right to know what ChemLawn is putting on their lawn. Customers have expressed concern about the difficulties they encounter when trying to find out information about TruGreen ChemLawn’s pesticide products. The activists calling in encounter resistance and hostility. The company’s website lists none of the pesticides used in its program and telemarketing representatives don’t give out any information other than to assure its products are “generally safe” – a claim that is illegal to make. Source: Toxics Action Center

TAKE ACTION: Take Toxics Action Center's Refuse to Use ChemLawn campaign pledge, and join the national effort for land care free of pesticides by joining the National Coalition for Pesticides-Free Lawns.