DIY Turf Blog

What Health Effects Do Lawn Care Chemicals Have?


Everyone knows that lawn chemicals are not good for humans, but it may surprise some to know just how bad they are. It may further surprise people to know just how much contact we humans inadvertently have with lawn care chemicals.



Most sold lawn care chemicals are used on residential property. This amounts to between 80 to 90 million pounds of chemicals used every year. Most U.S. statistics indicate that more than 78 million homeowners use these chemicals on their lawns every year.

Not Safe for Humans

There is no claim that any of these chemicals are safe for human contact. Most packaging explicitly states to avoid contact and certainly prevent ingestion. Common sense tells you the chemicals used to kill weeds, insects and other pests in your yard are made of a poison that would have ill effects when it comes in contact with people.

Studies confirm the poisonous content of lawn care chemicals like pesticides and herbicides. Nineteen of the 30 most common lawn care chemicals are carcinogens. They can cause many different problems in the body including 21 that are linked to infertility problems, 26 thought to cause damage to the liver and kidneys, 15 that are neurotoxins and 13 linked to birth defects.

Nature offers proof of the deadly effects of lawn care chemicals. There are life-threatening mutations among wildlife related to exposure to lawn chemicals. There is documented evidence of birth defects among amphibians and fish as well.

The Youngest, Smallest Affected the Most

In a family, those most vulnerable to yard chemicals are children and pets because are closer to the ground and tend to play on the ground. Children also take in more food, air, and water than adults because they have faster metabolic rates. They are also not as capable of detoxifying from dangerous chemicals.

Some studies from the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest that children are exposed to environmental chemicals while still in the womb, affecting developing organs. They are also exposed to pesticides used inside and outside in their home and at daycare. Children are also exposed to chemicals used in schools and playgrounds used to control pests and weeds.

Besides causing cancer, organ damage and fertility problems, toxic chemicals are believed to be responsible for learning disabilities in children including autism and ADHD.

There are at least five ways people and pets are exposed to toxic lawn chemicals including:
1. Through the air when the chemicals are applied to a lawn.
2. Through the air when they evaporate after application.
3. Skin contact through playing, walking or contact with grass, flowers, and shrubs.
4. In the water by applied chemicals running off into streams, rivers, ditches, and lakes.
5. Through groundwater supplies by chemicals seeping into the soil and ending up in aquifers.

Some may find it shocking these chemicals end up in the water we use. It is true that city and county filtration systems take out many toxins, including yard chemical toxins, but not all. Animals and plants consume this water with remaining toxins and it eventually ends up in our bodies.

An Environmentally-Friendly Solution

Artificial grass is a proven environmentally-friendly alternative to using lawn chemicals. Synthetic turf, made of nylon and polyurethane, requires no lawn chemicals to stay fresh and looking good. It naturally reduces the number of insects in pests because it blocks access to dirt, where pests breed and feed.

Synthetic turf is better for the environment and makes your yard healthier for your family and pets. Installing artificial grass could be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made to improve your family’s health.