Dangerous Turf, Safe Alternatives & Relief from Allergic Responses for Your Pet, Children and You! – Your Health Detective

Soil Testing

Most of us do not consider exactly what soil needs are; we simply apply fertilizers when spring arrives realizing we need to do something in order to have those nice green lawns all summer. Just like testing your urine pH levels to see what your body needs—to be more or less alkaline for better health and immunity. Our lawns, like our body, need to be tested to see what the soil actually needs to be in a healthy balance.

You can save yourself a lot of money by first testing your soil. Many universities, like the University of Vermont, actually provides soil testing for a small fee, as do many local forest agencies – most of these test results are available within a week. The Natural Resource Conservation Service has instructions on how to collect samples for testing. 

Mowing 101

The simplest way to beat weeds is simply to mow high (3-4 inches).  Longer grass will shade the weeds, depriving them of the sunlight they need to prosper.  Cutting too low can also weaken your grass plants – the blades are where the plant makes its food and if they’re too small the grass will grow faster to compensate.  This fast growth uses up resources the plant could be using to make new plants.

Watering infrequently, as strange as it sounds, actually makes for stronger grass plants.  The plants are forced to grow their roots in search of water, and dig down deeper than most weeds can manage, leaving the weeds more vulnerable to a dry spell than your grass. 

Dangerous Turf for Children and Pets 

Children: Consider this, children are at much greater risks than adults because pound per pound of their body weight they not only eat and breathe more, they also have a much more rapid metabolism. That said, children play more on lawns where pesticides are routinely applied, except maybe for avid golfers. Additionally, children and pets lack the biological ability to effectively breakdown synthetic chemicals and thus the organs of detoxification (kidneys, lungs, liver, etc.) are over-burdened and become compromised.

The Canadian College of Family Physicians in Ontario warned in 2004 about the serious health consequences of pesticides on homeowners. Due to the associations they found between exposure to pesticides and the occurrence of fetal defects, neurological damage and cancer, the doctors urged avoidance of these chemicals in any form. Although these physicians were focused on protecting humans, pets can benefit as well when chemical pesticides no longer contaminate their environment.

Pets: Dogs have developed anorexia, loose stools, vomiting, ataxia, lack of coordination, hyper-salivation, and tremors after exposure to phenoxy herbicide-treated lawns.

The Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) received approximately 100 calls during the late 1980s on adverse effects in dogs associated with the phenoxy herbicide 2,4-D (Beasley, V.R. & H. Trammel).

In addition to the signs noted above, muscle weakness and myotonia (muscle stiffness of the hind legs) were also been noted in 2,4-D poisoned dogs (Osweiler, G.D. et al).

But the majority of such poisoning events are not reported to the APCC. The Rachel Carson Council receives thousands of reports of ill effects in dogs after exposure to various lawn pesticides.

In humans, symptoms of chemical poisoning can be much the same as it was with 2,4-D coughing, burning, dizziness, temporary loss of muscle coordination, fatigue, and weakness with or without nausea (Kamrin, M.A.), as well as vomiting, and severe, or migraine headache (personal communication, Haugen, C.). 

Case History

The following case history is extracted from The Rachael Carson Council and is shared for the purposes of investigative reporting and education:

A young female Labrador, apparently in good health, was allowed access to the family’s yard shortly after it had been sprayed with a mixture containing several phenoxy herbicides, including 2,4-D, dicamba and MCPP. As the weather became hot, she rolled in the treated grass, was soaking wet and was observed to be licking her coat upon returning indoors.

Several days later, she began vomiting and refused to eat or drink. Her condition deteriorated, and she was diagnosed with kidney failure two weeks after her initial exposure to the herbicide-treated turf.

Residues of phenoxy chemicals were found in kidney tissue removed at necropsy after she died. Veterinary pathologists at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) concluded that the dog’s acute renal failure could have been associated with the phenoxy herbicide exposure (personal communication).

It must be acknowledged that allowing pets access to grass freshly treated with pesticides is contrary to most lawn company instructions. However, it appears in this case, that the margin of safety when directions are not followed could be so very slim as to produce fatal results.

Pet owners should be warned of the serious nature of possible adverse effects on dogs when phenoxy and other chemicals are used on their lawns and gardens. That said, our pets are “canaries”; if their bodies react so dramatically to these chemicals, can you imagine how a child’s body responds with its still developing immune system?

Conclusions

For thousands of years, the company of dogs has alleviated our isolation, loneliness and physical hardship. Now we see that through their suffering, they serve as monitors of chemical contaminants in our immediate environment, “However, one could ask, ‘Who is listening?'” (Beasley, V.R.).

Regulatory officials and manufacturers need to take into account the observations from pet owners on illness associated with chemicals. They should provide suitable warnings on pesticide product labels; many of them are now doing so.

Pet owners for their part can help by becoming more aware of the toxic nature of various pesticides and learning of the availability of low risk methods and better products that serve as alternatives to such chemicals.

Knowledgeable owners can seek out health care professionals and others familiar with pesticide problems and alternative pest control methods.

Tips for Organic Lawn Care

Conscious consumers practicing organic lawn care have found that organic management can be not only perfectly beautiful, but also perfectly safe for people, pets and the environment.

→       →       Use of an herbicide made from corn gluten can control crabgrass and other weeds. Seeding with a mixture of grass types will help keep a lawn healthy under various climatic conditions.

→       →       Adjusting the lawn mower’s cutting height to 3-4 inches can help shade out weeds. The goal should be a dense lawn mowed high.

→       →       Removing individual plants by hand using a special tool can help eliminate dandelions.

→       →       Nematodes that prey on the immature insects can be used against beetle grubs in the lawn.

Home and Garden suppliers and online stores offer thousands of healthy safe alternatives to chemicals – my favorite is www.gardensalive.com, do your homework, it’s worth the time and effort invested.

Happy Spring…become aware…it’s much healthier and cost-effective to stay healthy than to get well, naturally. 

The Way I See It…

 If you’re affected by the grasses, pollens and weeds, consider using the proprietary homeopathic complex I use and recommend, made specifically for spring and summer allergic responses. If this is the first year using these complexes, I suggest you use both Pollen & Weed and Pollen Response…by next spring you should be able to use substantially less as your resistance builds. Take 6 drops under your tongue 3-4 times per day and continue throughout the allergy season. Stop the complex when the season is over. The ingredients in these two complexes are effective for most of the U.S. except Alaska. After years of taking these complexes, I now only need 6 drops 2x day at the beginning of the pollen flow then I reduce to 6 drops 1x day until allergy season ends. Occasionally when I travel to areas where I’m not immune to their dust, pollens and weeds (like Idaho to Arizona), I take the complex 4x day during my stay because I will have symptoms if I don’t. There is no need to add insalt to injury by taking chemical allergy medications, unless needed for an acute attack and for short duration. Homeopathic remedies help the body to build resistance, thus arming your defenses rather than simply dealing with symptom-care, naturally.

Your Health Detective:

Uncovering Clues to Add LIFE to Your Years…NOT Merely Years to Your Life, Naturally

 Dr. Gloria Gilbère (aka Dr. G), N.D., D.A.Hom., Ph.D., D.S.C., EcoErgonomist, Wholistic Rejuvenist

Dr. Gilbère is renowned worldwide for her work in identifying and finding natural solutions to chemically-induced and inflammatory disorders, multiple chemical sensitivities, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, Gulf War Syndrome, and digestive disorders that defy conventional diagnosis and treatment. She consults worldwide via telephone and at her Institute in north Idaho. Visit her website at www.gloriagilbere.com for details about consulting with her.

Creator of certificated courses to become a Wholistic Rejuvenist™ (CWR) and for post-graduate education for health and spa professionals. Go to www.gloriagilbere.com and click on Wholistic Skin & Body Rejuvenation (WSBR™) for course outline. Available on-site at worldwide locations, and via distance-learning at your convenience globally.

Published by Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation – ©2011 division of Gloria E. Gilbère, LLC, A Private Healthcare Membership Association, all rights reserved.

Information in this newsletter is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by medical professionals, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent a disease or disorder. The FDA has not reviewed or endorsed the contents of this educational publication.

Copyright is held by Gloria E. Gilbère, LLC to which all rights are reserved. Other than personal, non-commercial use or forwarding, no material in this newsletter may be copied, distributed, or published without the expressed written permission of its author and copyright holder.

Leave a Comment