Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Parks: The Good, the Bad and the Shady - Part III

A word of caution: most cities (including Pomona and Claremont) spray herbicides at their parks. They usually spray in the early morning and do not leave any signage or other indication that they have done so. Pomona uses the chemical equivalent of Roundup, which unfortunately many private citizens use too. At Lincoln Park, they spray the tree wells and walkways, which includes all around the outside of the wood chip area.

Just because Roundup is widely sold in stores does not mean it's safe for children or animals. In fact, Monsanto, the corporation that manufactures Roundup, was sued successfully by the attorney general of New York for misleading and false statements on Roundup's packaging, specifically it's claims of being safe for people and the environment. To read the legal relief granted to the State of New York, click here:


Keep in mind, that Monsanto was only forced to change their labels/safety claims in New York, not in California.

Additionally, while the current law in California requires that schools give 48 hours before using these sprays, there are no such constraints at parks (even tho they're populated by younger and more vulnerable children). Cities are allowed to spray without any warning at parks whatsoever.If you are doubtful about whether these herbicides are bad for adults, children and animals, read these abstracts: www.mindfully.org/Pesticide/2002/RoundupGlyphosateAbstracts.htm.

For a full overview of Roundup's toxicity, go to: http://www.naturescountrystore.com/roundup/

One worker in Claremont that I saw spraying Larkin Park told me he was spraying water. When I questioned him further, his co-worker came over and told me that it was Roundup. The guy spraying it didn't even know what it was he was spraying.

If your kid has the misfortune of playing in an area that has been sprayed, and if your kid is particularly sensitive that day or over time (there can be a cumulative effect too), your child may suffer temporary or permanent health problems because of a trip/s to the park. Sorry to make this post a downer, but since discovering what a potential problem this is, I'm obligated to pass along the information. I've got a letter into the City of Pomona about this, and will keep you posted as to what changes are made.

In summary, the good is that there's lots of choices when it comes to parks in our area. The bad is this whole herbicide thing. And as for "The Shady," well there's only a handful of parks around here that adequately protect our children from the sun. Perhaps we as parents need to lobby cities to plant additional shade trees or other forms of shade producers (like the netting I've seen recently).

Okay, your turn now.

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