Weed killer scare keeps kids off grass

[COLORADO] Parents of children in a Durango, Colo., youth league forced a postponement of youth games because a synthetic weed killer containing at least two possible carcinogens would be applied to fields one day before the games.

Scott Sallee, owner of Scott's Pro-Lawn, who is is contracted to spray the herbicides, said the fears were "much ado about nothing."  "It dries in four hours," he said. "By Saturday morning, it would've been perfectly safe for anyone to play soccer on. ... Almost all of the uproar about spraying is fear-driven and it's not based on facts."

"There is essentially no data on the safety of pesticide mixtures," Alex Lu of the Harvard School of Public Health said. "The use of three herbicides mixed in the same formulation is a bold move considering the unknown synergistic effects." He likened application of the product to a doctor prescribing three different painkillers to a patient.

The issue of pesticide safety on playing fields has become a national issue. Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) introduced the federal School Environmental Protection Act, which advocates hope could significantly reduce pesticide use.

Next story loading loading..