Saturday, August 8, 2020

Pesticide-Treated Lawns and Fields Are a Hazard to Children and Dogs ....

 Many parents avoid pesticides in food, but what about in parks and playing fields?

child plays on freshly mowed lawn
Child plays on freshly mowed lawn.

@rubypeanut via Twenty20 

This summer I am having some landscaping work done by a young couple who come each day with their eight-month-old baby in tow. They're experienced landscapers, but are new to the challenges of working with a young child around. The baby, however, seems very content to spend her days riding in a carrier on her mom's back, napping in her carseat, and playing in the grass and dirt. 

One day, as her father set her down on my weedy, lumpy lawn, he said, "Don't take this the wrong way, but I can tell you don't spray." He's right. Our lawn stands out like a sore thumb among the perfectly manicured ones in our neighborhood – owned, of course, by lovely retired people who have all the time in the world to pluck at their immaculate lawns with tweezers and shears. "And that's why I'm comfortable with her sitting on it," he finished. "I would never set her down on a perfect lawn because who knows what's on it."

In that moment, he validated my own thoughts and concerns about soaking lawns in pesticides for the sake of appearances. I quizzed him further, and he said there was nothing wrong with letting weeds grow and keeping them mowed, and that it results in a healthier, more resilient eco-system that won't die and turn brown nearly as fast as my neighbors' perfect lawns. "Just keep doing what you're doing," he said. "No one can tell from the street, and you're the ones using and enjoying it. Plus, your kids are on it all the time."

His words were fresh in my mind when I received a press release this week from Stonyfield Organic, the yogurt company, which has recently spearheaded an initiative to get pesticides out of kids' playing fields across the United States. It made a profound point – that 69% of parents want to reduce their children's exposure to pesticides in food, while nearly the same number (67%) don't view it as a threat at sports fields, playgrounds, and parks. 

Perhaps they don't realize that "65% of playing fields in the U.S. are sprayed with harmful pesticides like glyphosate, 2,4-D and Dicamba," which are potentially carcinogenic. Stonyfield goes on to say that 2,4-D has been linked to Parkinson's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, thyroid and endocrine disruption, and that children are more susceptible than adults to its harmful effects because they weigh less and their organs are not yet fully developed. 

Dr. Philip Landrigan, founding director of the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, said, "Several of the most commonly used chemicals on playing fields are either proven or likely endocrine disruptors, which can interfere with the development of children’s immune, reproductive, and metabolic systems."

Kids play with their dog on a lawn
Kids play with their dog on a lawn. @TonyTheTigersSon via Twenty20

Pets are also at risk, with studies showing that dogs have a 70% higher risk of canine lymphoma cancer after being exposed to herbicide-treated lawns than dogs who have not been exposed. Most pet owners are not nearly as worried about this as they should be.

"The majority of pet parents (58%) were not aware that public parks are using pesticides to treat the grass where their pups run and play. Paradoxically, 75% of pet owners think it’s important for humans to take their shoes off before entering a house, but 77% don’t wipe their pet’s paws after outside play and walks, leaving the door open for pesticide residue to be tracked inside the home. What’s even more alarming, 74% of dog owners also said they let their dog sleep on the bed or couch!"

Stonyfield wants to start a widespread movement toward pesticide-free lawns and playing fields, and the coronavirus pandemic has only served to highlight the importance of this campaign. Many more people have started spending time outdoors, whether it's in their own backyards or at local parks, and this increased time walking, playing, or lying on chemically-treated lawns could be a health hazard. Stonyfield's initiative is called #PlayFree and it includes a lawn-care guide for homeowners wanting to detoxify their own yards, as well as a commitment from Stonyfield to convert 14 U.S. communities to organic playing fields. You can see a list of the communities with chemical-free fields here.

In the meantime, I'm thrilled to know that I'm already on the right path with my chemical-free yard. I've even decided to reseed the back portion of my yard with a wildflower mix that the landscapers say will attract pollinators, never has to be mowed, and will be a colorful, dynamic play space for my kids. I'll provide an update on that as it grows.

That's it for this time. Thank you all for visiting with us. Until next month, 
every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. 
Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. 
Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, 
elephant or monkey.  One person, one voice can make a difference. 
Read a book. Review it. Share it. Pass it along.

Make adoption your first option when seeking a pet. Adopt. Don’t shop. Can’t adopt. Please consider 
fostering one. The animal will have the taste of home and the shelter will cover the expenses. 
Can’t foster? Make a donation or volunteer at your local shelter. Please, don’t hunt. 
Unless you’re starving down in a ditch somewhere, there is no logical reason to do so. 
Whatever you do, however you do it, please be a voice for the animals large and small. 
All it takes is one to make a difference, good or bad. 
 
                                    Together, you and I can make a difference. If you like 
what you see here, please consider signing up to become a follower. 
Please feel free to share this post with others.
Regards,
S.J. Francis Writing is my passion, but animals are my world.
    In Shattered Lies: "Good and bad, it's All About Family."  
Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at on-line 
retailers and independent booksellers. 
    “Some secrets should remain that way.” 
    My web page: http://www.sjfranciswriter.com  
                                     Twitter: https://twitter.com/sjfrancis419 

                               
 Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/SJ-Francis/480058115420325 
                  My writing Blog: http://sjfranciswriter.blogspot.com    
                          A Book Review 4 U: http://abookreview4u.blogspot.com  
                  A Consumer's View: http://aconsumersview.blogspot.com
                           

                                     
And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2018 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.                           
Remember: Animals don't have voices. We must be their voice. Always. Forever. Wherever. whenever. I'm one for the animals. Are you?

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Most American-Made Cars Sold in the U.S. Are Japanese...

Originally posted at msn.com:



Kyle Lahucik

While Donald Trump has been pressing for tariffs on foreign-made cars and parts, it turns out the most American-made cars sold in the U.S. today are usually Japanese.
The annual “American-Made Index” compiled by Cars.com found nine of the 15 most U.S.-sourced vehicles are manufactured by Honda and Toyota. The two Japanese automakers dominated the latest study thanks to the big number of popular vehicles they assemble in America and their high content of U.S.-made parts.
“It’s not surprising that there’s a lot of vehicles here from Honda,” Kelsey Mays, senior editor of Cars.com, said in an interview. About two-thirds of Honda’s cars are assembled in the U.S., which is more than General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Mays said. Toyota also sells mostly American-made vehicles in the U.S. market.
The 2019 study, published Tuesday, takes into account many of the issues Trump has stumped about when it comes to the automotive trade. Cars.com examined assembly location, parts sourcing as determined by the American Automobile Labeling Act, factory employment relative to sales and sourcing of engines and transmissions. The five factors aren’t equally weighed and Mays declined to give details of the breakdown.
Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep Cherokee SUV topped the list, and GM’s Chevrolet Corvette sports car placed fifth. But Japanese automakers dominated the ranking just as they did in 2018. The study, which debuted in 2006, was redesigned in 2017.
While Japanese nameplates are among the most American-made, some American brand icons are not in the Top 10. One common misconception involves Ford Motor Co.’s F-150, America’s longtime best-selling vehicle: Some 71% of respondents believed it to be the most American vehicle on the road, but Cars.com said it actually ranked No. 13.
Many U.S. consumers give preferential consideration to American-made vehicles, according to the survey. But nearly 50% of respondents said they were very or somewhat concerned about the impact of tariffs on their new car purchasing decisions.
Cars.com hasn’t seen a massive relocation of production in a way that would influence its rankings despite the Trump administration’s imposition of tariffs on China and threats to do so on European and Japanese imports. Mays said Ford and GM have indicated “a few employment changes” because of the tariffs, but no automaker has significantly altered its assembly lines or supply chains in reaction to trade policy. Still, such changes could be coming -- and would likely raise costs for car buyers, he said.
The White House delayed imposing tariffs on imported vehicles from the European Union, Japan and other nations on May 17 for 180 days. Earlier this month, the administration denied a GM request to exclude its Chinese-made Buick Envision from a 25% import duty.


That's it for this time. Thank you all for visiting with us. Until next month, 
every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. 
Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. 
Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, 
elephant or monkey.  One person, one voice can make a difference. 
Read a book. Review it. Share it. Pass it along.

Make adoption your first option when seeking a pet. Adopt. Don’t shop. Can’t adopt. Please consider 
fostering one. The animal will have the taste of home and the shelter will cover the expenses. 
Can’t foster? Make a donation or volunteer at your local shelter. Please, don’t hunt. 
Unless you’re starving down in a ditch somewhere, there is no logical reason to do so. 
Whatever you do, however you do it, please be a voice for the animals large and small. 
All it takes is one to make a difference, good or bad. 
 
                                    Together, you and I can make a difference. If you like 
what you see here, please consider signing up to become a follower. 
Please feel free to share this post with others.
Regards,
S.J. Francis Writing is my passion, but animals are my world.
    In Shattered Lies: "Good and bad, it's All About Family."  
Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at on-line 
retailers and independent booksellers. 
    “Some secrets should remain that way.” 
    My web page: http://www.sjfranciswriter.com  
                                     Twitter: https://twitter.com/sjfrancis419 

                               
 Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/SJ-Francis/480058115420325 
                  My writing Blog: http://sjfranciswriter.blogspot.com    
                          A Book Review 4 U: http://abookreview4u.blogspot.com  
                  A Consumer's View: http://aconsumersview.blogspot.com
                           


                 Google Plus:https://plus.google.com/u/0/104831238907682620486/about 
Good Reads:       https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/33550975-s-j 
                                     
And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2018 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.                           
Remember: Animals don't have voices. We must be their voice. Always. Forever. Wherever. whenever. I'm one for the animals. Are you?