Weed Killer Side Effects

Overview

Pulling weeds is probably the most dreaded chore of gardening. Weeds seem to sprout anywhere and everywhere. Some weeds even grow year-round. As a means of controlling pesky weeds, weed-killers were developed. These lawn chemicals, however, have raised many questions regarding health and environmental safety.

Identification

Weed killers have become one of the worst pollutants in America. They are actually biocides (harmful chemical substances) and can harm homeowners, their neighbors, their pets and all other forms of life.

Ingredients

Many components of weed killers are classified as "inert", which allows them not to be listed on product labels. Some "Inert" ingredients (such as benzene and xylene) are very active and can be more toxic than the listed chemicals.

Time Frame

Many pesticides are not safe even when dry. The pesticides continue to release odorless and invisible toxic vapors. They can accumulate in a toxic smog throughout the entire season and some even remain active for years after application.

Effects

Symptoms of pesticide poisoning are often mistaken for flu or allergies. They include a number of common ailments such as headaches, nausea, vomiting and fever. Long-term exposure can lead to more serious conditions such as heart trouble, blindness, stroke and cancer.

Statistics

According to the National Academy of Sciences, at least one of every seven people are significantly harmed by pesticide exposure each year.

Considerations

Weeds killed with artificial weed killers cannot be placed in the composting bin as they will contaminate the composting matter.

References

  • Poisons in the Grass
  • Pesticides: The Real Pest
  • Environmental Health News
Keywords: weed killers, herbicides, inert ingredients, toxic ingredients

About this Author

Loraine Degraff has been a writer and educator since 1999. She recently began focusing on topics pertaining to health and environmental issues. She is published in "Healthy Life Place" and "Humdinger" and also writes for Suite101. Degraff holds a Master's degree in Communications Design from Pratt Institute.