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You may be poisoning your children and pets and not even know it. All you are doing is letting them play outside. Yet, outside can be a health hazard for your children and your furry friend because the pesticides and herbicides used to keep your lawn beautiful are killing your dog or cat.

Lawn Chemicals Are Dangerous
There have been numerous studies indicating that pesticides and herbicides used to maintain a natural grass lawn can also poison children and pets. That’s because most chemicals used to treat lawns contains 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), which is more widely known as Agent Orange. So, the same chemical causing numerous deaths of military personnel in Vietnam is in your yard.

When you think about it, you know the chemicals in your yard have to be dangerous. Pesticides are created to kill things – namely pesky bugs like mosquitoes or fleas. Herbicides are created to help grass and flowers grow, but also contain elements to kill weeds. Those elements that kill insects and weeds are poison and can also hurt your pet over an extended period of time with constant exposure. It is certainly something to think about.

Ways Chemicals Harm Your Family
There are three ways your family is being affected by chemicals:
1. Pets ingest it by eating grass. Dogs and cats alike eat grass in an attempt to get vegetables into their diet. The grass contains these chemicals, so they are also ingesting this dangerous compound.
2. Children and pets absorb it through the skin. This happens as they lay in the grass. A pet’s fur offers them some protection, but then they lick their fur and ingest it. Over time, these chemicals do seep into the skin.
3. They inhale it. Pets sniff and children will breathe in the chemicals as many of these products are applied with a sprayer.

There are numerous health issues rising out of increased use of chemicals for both people and pets. The amount of chemicals found in a person’s bodily fluids, such as blood or urine, has increased in recent years. Children and pets are affected the most because they are smaller, spend more time actually on the grass and playing outside. Some studies show that children have an extremely elevated level of poison in their bodies.

Some health issues for pets include:
· Allergies
· Skin problems like mange and hot spots
· Cancer

Studies Show the Effects on Pets
The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tuft’s University published a study on the issue of lawn chemical’s effect on pets. The six-year study focused on malignant lymphoma, fatal cancer, in dogs. The results showed a dog’s risk of developing cancer escalated as much as 70 percent if it were exposed to lawn pesticides.

The journal Science of the Total Environment published a study in 2013 that showed dogs had a higher risk of bladder cancer if they were exposed to yards treated with herbicides. Other studies show animals in untreated lawns, but near treated lawns, are also at risk from the drift of chemicals.

Ways to Protect Children and Pets
There are some things you can do to protect both children and pets from yard pesticides:
· Stop using traditional pesticides and go with organic products.
· Stop using topical flea and tick treatments on pets as these often contain the same chemical.
· Keep children and pets out of yards treated with these chemicals.
· Bathe children and animals right away when they come in from outside.
· Water down the yard to dilute chemicals.
· Detox pet. There are herbs and supplements specifically for this.

Those who are serious about reducing chemical use should consider artificial turf for their yard. Artificial turf requires no pesticides or herbicides for maintenance and also reduces insects, like fleas, so there will be no use for topical pesticides on pets.

Reducing risks for your pet and the rest of your family will keep everyone living longer, healthier lives. Learn more about studies on lawn chemicals here.

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