Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for February 19, 2014

Pesticides are everywhere, and more dangerous than you realize

Most of us think we’re protecting ourselves from noxious chemicals with half-superstitious gestures: filtering the water we drink a pitcher at a time, or confining ourselves to the organic aisles of supermarkets. But we forget that aside from the frightening array of incidental toxins we take in every day, there’s a class of intentionally harmful chemicals we’re constantly exposed to: insecticides. A specific group of bug-killers, pyrethroids and pyrethrins, have been soaring in popularity in recent years and now account for more than a quarter of the global market.

Pyrethroids are chemical simulations of pyrethrins, naturally occurring compounds in dried chrysanthemum flowers that incapacitate insect nervous systems. They’ve been around since the late 19th century, but had long been passed over for quicker-acting compounds — namely organochlorines like DDT, and organophosphates. But a curious reverse relay race has been in progress since the 1960s, wherein these powerful, fast-acting, more harmful chemicals are being replaced by slower, less persistent ones, presumed to be less toxic to humans.

Notwithstanding organophosphates’ sinister origin story — they were developed alongside deadly nerve agents like sarin during the Nazi regime — in the 1970s they were considered a safer substitute for DDT since they degraded rapidly in the environment and the human system was thought to be capable of detoxifying them. That presumed safety was revealed to be false two decades later, when organophosphate poisoning was found to have caused 200,000 deaths worldwide in a single year. In 2001, the EPA banned them from households due to the risks they posed to the developing brains and nervous systems of children. Pyrethroids and pyrethrins have since taken their place.

Sprinkled over lawns, soaped onto pets, sprayed on offending vermin

Across cities and suburbs, pyrethroids and pyrethrins are sprinkled over lawns, soaped onto pets, sprayed on offending vermin, and occasionally applied to our own persons in the form of lice-killing shampoos or mosquito repellents. They’re also used in landscaping, in fumigating drives against mosquitoes, and in agricultural crops and nurseries. In 2009, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found pyrethroids and pyrethrins in more than 3,500 registered commercial products. This tally didn’t include the many hundreds of illegal pest-control products that stream in from elsewhere, like the wildly popular “miraculous insecticide chalk” from China.

This month, a study out of the University of California, Davis, showed that the use of these pesticides is soaring. Of the urinary samples taken from adults and children in 90 California families, two-thirds had breakdown products of pyrethroids. Pyrethroids and pyrethrins are just as popular on the East Coast. A study published last September in Environmental Health Perspectives examined urine samples from 1,452 New York City residents for breakdown products of pyrethroids, and found that participants were disproportionately exposed to chemicals. Going by one breakdown product, trans-DCCA, New Yorkers were more than twice as exposed to pyrethroids than people living in the rest of the country.

Pesticide-inline-use

A 1907 advertisement for pyrethrum spray, which was originally developed by Austrian inventor Johann Zacherl. (Wikimedia Commons)

Pyrethroids and pyrethrins are thought to be safe due to their botanical origins — even though some of them are just chemical simulations of those compounds. Nonetheless, in November 2011, the EPA reinforced that perception by stating that pyrethroids “posed health risks below the agency’s level of concern.” This assessment was based on experiments with adult rats, not long-term studies of humans or children exposed to pyrethroids, so the presumption of their comparative safety has largely gone untested so far.

Burning and tingling skin, respiratory trouble, involuntary twitching

And there are signs that this gap urgently needs to be addressed. In 2008, the Center for Public Integrity analyzed 90,000 adverse reaction reports and found that health problems linked to pyrethroids had increased 300 times in 10 years. The problems included burning and tingling skin, respiratory trouble, involuntary twitching, dizziness, nausea, fainting, convulsions and seizures. In Australia, a union representing transport workers is even mulling a class action lawsuit on behalf of air stewards who allege they suffer neurodegenerative diseases as a result of exposure to the insecticides.

Indeed, two recent studies have linked pyrethroid use to adverse changes in the developing brain. This September, a study on Canadian children found that exposure to pyrethroid insecticides was linked to behavioral problems reported by parents, while a 2011 study of mothers in New York found a strong association between prenatal exposure to piperonyl butoxide — an additive commonly used in pyrethroid sprays — and delayed mental development in toddlers.

Youssef Oulhote, the lead author of the first study, analyzed concentrations of organophosphate and pyrethroid breakdown products in urine samples from 779 children across Canada, comparing them with mental and behavioral difficulties. The results were startling. Oulhote found that a tenfold elevation in urinary levels of cis-DCCA, a breakdown product of common pyrethroids, was associated with a doubling in the odds of behavioral problems. “It’s consistent with findings from experimental studies in animals, which found that pyrethroids led to brain damage and behavioral problems,” says Oulhote. “Pyrethroids are considered less harmful than other pesticides — but that doesn’t mean they’re safe.”

“Pyrethroids are considered less harmful than other pesticides — but that doesn’t mean they’re safe.”

From his research, Oulhote says that pyrethroids likely interfere with the regular functioning of the central nervous system, and introduce alterations in the microanatomy of the brain. Robin Whyatt, an expert on environmental exposures at the Columbia Center for Children, and the co-author of the 2011 study, points out that “the brain is the most highly developed organ in the body, and fetal brain development unfolds in a very precise, very controlled manner in time and space. Any interruption can have a far greater effect — a fully developed brain will have nowhere near the same impacts.”

Why, then, the dearth of research? Megan Horton, an epidemiologist at the Mailman School of Public Health who led the 2011 study, has a few ideas. “Pyrethroids are considered more difficult to study, since they rapidly metabolize, and are harder to measure in samples,” she says. “Then, they’re spun [by marketers] as a sort of natural compound, when in fact they’re chemically manipulated to be more persistent, more toxic.” And while translational studies on rodents could point to some biologically plausible clues about how poisons exert their force, mice are not people or babies.

“We rely on a snapshot: one time, one urine sample.”

The biggest challenge lies in the inherently restrictive nature of studies examining long-term exposures in humans, which are time-consuming, expensive, and strictly observational. “A regulatory system that utilizes animal studies can’t simulate the effect of toxins on children,” says Melissa Perry, an expert in environmental and occupational health at GWU’s School of Public Health. “We can’t use experimental methods with humans,” she notes. “So we rely on … a snapshot: one time, one urine sample.” Oulhote agrees. “Our main limitation is the design of the study,” he says. “It draws an association, not a causal link.” To actually change policy, observational studies need the backing of mechanistic work — studies that reveal the biochemical tricks that poisons deploy on cells, tissues, and organs.

Whyatt, who recently received an NIH grant to study the effect of prenatal pyrethroid exposure on children’s mental development, is planning a study she hopes will fill that gap. In 2011, she and Horton found a significant association between the concentration of piperonyl butoxide and mental development. But since there were no previous studies on piperonyl butoxide, they didn’t know if the effect was due specifically to piperonyl butoxide or more broadly to pyrethroid exposure. “With this grant, we’re teasing apart that finding, since we’re looking at metabolized pyrethroids in mother’s urine,” says Whyatt. “But as in any epidemiological study, it’ll be a long time before we have any answers.”

Article source: http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/19/5423480/popular-poison-pyrethroid-health-risks

Grizzly Lawn Care and Landscape

Grizzly Lawn Care and Landscape

View Business Website

Your Local Lawn Care Landscape Professionals

Serving Missoula and Surrounding Areas, MT, 59803 , Missoula, MT 59803

406-552-9001

<!–

Save to foursquare

(function() {
window.___fourSq = {};
var s = document.createElement(‘script’);
s.type = ‘text/javascript’;
s.src = ‘http://platform.foursquare.com/js/widgets.js’;
s.async = true;
var ph = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0];
ph.parentNode.insertBefore(s, ph);
})();

–>

Business Overview

If you are looking to add curb appeal either by a new comprehensive landscaping design, or just simply looking for a high quality, reliable, and efficient lawn care service, look no further than Grizzly Lawn Care of Missoula, MT. We are a locally owned and operated as well as fully licensed and insured. Looking to bring those landscaping ideas to life?  We can help?

We are always on-time, professional, and on-point.

Call Today For Your Free Estimate at (406) 552-9001

Visit our website for more information and don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

Grizzly Lawn Care and Landscape

Special Offers Events

Dreaming of a beautiful flagstone patio to compliment your landscape?

Grizzly Lawn Care Landscape offers gorgeous mountain slabs to add some spice to your q…

Lawn Care Contractor Seeks Yard for Spring Clean Up in the Missoula Montana Area! (406) 552-9001

Grizzly Lawn Care and Landscape wants to beautify your investment. We are on-time and on-poi…

Looking for a New Path to Walk on Your Property? Call Grizzly Lawn Care and Landscape of Missoula Today! (406) 552-9001

We offer concrete and flagstone walkways and patios and will provide you a FREE custom estim…

More Offers Events

Lawn Care Landscaping Services

Imagine coming home every day to a perfectly manicured property. We use eco-friendly products whenever possible. At Grizzly, we know that keeping your lawn, yard, and garden green and healthy is important to you, that’s why it’s important to us. We can make sure your lawn will reach its full potential.

Lawn Care Services

Boost your homes curb appeal with our customized landscaping and property maintenance. We have you covered from lawn mowing to seasonal cleanups to tree services. We also do:

  • Gardening
  • Grounds keeping
  • Weed control
  • Lawn care
  • Aeration
  • Irrigation
  • Lawn mowing
  • Debris removal

Landscaping Services

Don’t settle for an underwhelming property. Let Grizzly Lawn Care perfect your landscaping at affordable pricing. We specialize in:

  • Flagstone walkways
  • Irrigation systems
  • Weed control
  • Lawn care
  • Aeration
  • Irrigation
  • Lawn mowing
  • Debris removal

 Grizzly Lawn Care and Landscape

Article source: http://missoulian.com/places/grizzly-lawn-care-and-landscape/business_4000015193.html

MCC will hold native landscaping program

CRYSTAL LAKE –McHenry County College will present “Native Landscaping for the Home Gardener” from 10:30 a.m. to noon March 20 in the Luecht Conference Center at the college.

Hosted by the MCC Sustainability Center and the Lou Marchi Total Recycling Institute, the seminar will feature Ed Collins and Laurie Ryan from the McHenry County Conservation District.

Collins, director of land preservation and natural resources for MCCD, will share stories, ideas and his vision of native landscaping in the county.

Ryan, plant ecologist for MCCD, will discuss the benefits – both short- and long-term – of using native plants. She will show examples of a variety of landscapes that residents can plant this spring.

“We are lucky to have these two conservation experts speak at the college,” said Kim Hankins, director of the MCC Sustainability Center. “Ed Collins has an unmatched view of the natural history of McHenry County and Laurie Ryan has fantastic ideas.”

All seminar attendees will receive free native plant seeds.

The event is sponsored by the Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee. The event is free and open to the public. For information, contact the MCC Sustainability Center at 815-479-7765.

Article source: http://www.nwherald.com/2014/02/18/mcc-will-hold-native-landscaping-program/ailq63/

The Arkansas Flower and Garden Show – About

With all the winter weather, I’m ready to see some flowers.  You probably won’t find many outside (even though Daffodil Days is technically starting at Garvan Gardens this weekend).  You will find some at the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show this weekend at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock. It’s 10-6 on Friday and Saturday and Sunday 10-4.

The Flower and Garden show is a great place to see landscapers, garden decorations and learn about plants.  They have lectures (see the schedule)  and some of Arkansas’ top landscapers will be there.  Chris Olsen of Botanica Gardens will giving a lecture on the Five Seasons of Gardening.

Admission to the show is $8.  I have some photos from previous years.

Article source: http://littlerock.about.com/b/2014/02/19/the-arkansas-flower-and-garden-show.htm

Jubail decked up for gardens and plants fest

Jubail’s 16th Gardens and Plants Festival will kick off on Wednesday.
Organized by the Royal Commission in Jubail and represented by the Landscaping and Irrigation Department, the festival will take place at Al-Fanateer beach under the slogan “Jubail: a homeland’s destination.”
A total of 45 institutions and companies specialized in agriculture, plant nurseries, aquariums and lighting fixtures will participate, together with several governmental agencies.
Several Gulf Countries, including Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, represented by the Emirate of Ajman and city of Al-Ain, are also participating in the event.
The festival is expected to attract more than 250,000 visitors.
The 10-day festival aims to raise visitors’ awareness about the environment through the promotion of plants and flowers, highlighting their benefits, the types appropriate for the environment and how to take care of them.
In addition to a display of agricultural products and various house garden supplies that contribute to form ideal house gardens, the festival is also complemented by several events, including activities and recreational and cultural competitions.
According to Saleh Al-Mutairi, director of the Landscaping and Irrigation Department and chairman of the festival’s organizing committee, the Gardens and Plants Festival’s widespread reputation transcends the boundaries of Jubail Industrial City due to its programs and activities, which form a mixture of education, culture and entertainment.
Al-Mutairi told Arab News that the annual festival promotes tourism and encourages visitors to take care of their home gardens and preserve the environment, landscaping area and public property in parks and public gardens.
He said, “The festival’s organizing committee has been keen to diversify and provide various competitions and activities that contribute in creating a large public base from the city visitors, either inside or outside.”
“New elements in this year’s festival include the exhibition of more than 200,000 plants, increasing the festival site area by 60 percent compared to last year’s area, dedicating a special area for festival mascot ‘Muzher’ and doubling the number of participating restaurants and coffee shops,” he said.

This year’s festival will be accompanied by a one-day landscaping forum in its first day at the Al-Fanateer Conference Hall, an event that will be attended by several specialists and experts in environment, architecture and urban design. The event will include several work papers that discuss the most-up-to-date methods of landscaping in modern cities.
Local and international speakers will also give lectures on other topics.
Moreover, several international municipalities will participate in sharing some of the lessons they learned with their audience. Subjects will cover landscape architecture as a profession and its relation with the urban fabric.
The forum aims, furthermore, to elevate the level of awareness regarding landscape architecture and their effects among professionals.

Article source: http://www.arabnews.com/news/527901

Tips for keeping indoor humidity at a pleasant level

Question: My daughter and her 5-year-old sleep in a bedroom with a hardwood floor, filled with clothing and stuffed animals. She recently added a small table-top air filter and a humidifier that she activates every night, putting a half-gallon of water into the air in a 12-hour period.

I already have a whole-house humidifier on the furnace, and I am concerned that she is going to cause a mold or mildew problem in the room, in addition to the unfinished attic and possibly adjoining bedrooms.

Answer: What motivated your daughter to add the humidifier and filter if you already had a whole-house humidifier, which, if properly maintained, does a fine job adding moisture in the driest of seasons indoors?

Relative humidity indoors in winter should be between 40 percent and 60 percent, depending on the outdoor temperature. The indoor temperature, in this reckoning, is 70 degrees.

The lower the outdoor temperature, the lower the humidity indoors. For example, if the outside temperature is 20 to 40 degrees, humidity indoors should not be more than 40 percent. If the outdoor temperature is lower than 20 below zero, inside humidity should not be more than 15 percent.

I doubt that what your daughter is doing, for whatever reason — typically dry air and the sinus congestion that can result — will cause mold and mildew to form at this time of year, especially if the house is properly ventilated.

The Environmental Protection Agency says that maintaining relative humidity between 30 percent and 60 percent will help control mold. Houses around Philadelphia just don’t get more humid than that during the winter.

Perhaps the whole-house humidifier is not doing its job properly, and your daughter and grandchild are suffering because of it. You may need to keep adjusting it as the outdoor temperature rises and falls.

That’s what I have done since we traded an antique heating system that required room humidifiers for a modern heating and cooling system in our home of 12 years.

Questions? Email Alan J. Heavens at aheavens@phillynews.com or write him at The Inquirer, P.O. Box 8263, Philadelphia, Pa. 19101.
Volume prohibits individual replies.

Article source: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/02/19/3055302/tips-for-keeping-indoor-humidity.html

Floretum Garden Club to hold Saturday Pruning Tips workshop Saturday

The Edmonds Floretum Garden Club will be having its second event in this season’s series of Saturday Workshops Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. until noon. Sally Wassall, Master Gardener Emeritus, will present “Pruning Tips for the Home Garden” with a focus on fruit and flowering shrubs. She will cover basic practices for a variety of plants appropriately pruned at this time of year.

Wassall is an active member of the Western Washington Fruit Research Foundation at Mount Vernon and the Edmonds Floretum Garden Club. She grew up on a 10-acre mixed farm in Surrey, BC, which she and her husband also farmed for 20 years. There they pruned fruit trees, flowering shrubs, fruiting shrubs, and roses. Currently, they are renovating a garden in Bellingham and are also caring for the garden at their home in Edmonds.

The presentation will be in the meeting room of Coldwell Banker Bain at 108 5th Ave. S. in Edmonds. All are welcome. Donations are accepted. For more information, contact Janice Noe at janicenoe@comcast.net or call her at 425-774-4991.

Article source: http://myedmondsnews.com/2014/02/floretum-garden-club-hold-saturday-pruning-tips-workshop-saturday/

‘First Look’: Home & Garden Show offers landscaping, cooking tips

Edwards has been on the radio as the sod expert of Kern County for many years, and he talked about the benefits of watering lawns once a month instead of every day.

“If you’re watering your lawn every day, you have a lot of weeds,” Edwards said.

Edwards will provide tips on how to conserve water while keeping a green lawn and how to plant your own garden.

Although Edwards is not a fan of vegetables, he said there is nothing better than growing your own food in your backyard.

And in hopes of luring vegetables onto dinner tables, local chef Jeff McFee will fire up the grill for summertime vegetable cooking and barbecue recipes.

The show kicks off from noon to 7 p.m. Friday at the Kern County Fairgrounds. Tickets are $8 for adults and children under 12 enter free.

For a complete list of times and activities, visit www.ggshows.com.

 

Article source: http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/x493442252/First-Look-Home-Garden-Show-offers-landscaping-cooking-tips

Create inviting spaces to relax in your garden

<!–Saxotech Paragraph Count: 17
–>

If you struggle with getting good design in your landscape, develop a relationship with the space, the plants and the natural rhythm of the seasons.

That’s the advice from noted author and garden designer C. Colston Burrell, who spoke recently at the Emily N. Daniels Horticulture Symposium at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

The goal is to create inviting, intimate spaces, whether your landscape is large or small. Here are some of his suggestions.

Integrate indoor and outdoor spaces. For instance, consider the view from your windows. What you see looking out the window is probably more important than what a passerby sees from the street.

Allow easy access from the house to the garden, where you’ll find several comfortable places to sit or dine, said Burrell, who received the Award of Distinction from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers in 2008 for his work promoting sustainable gardening practices.

Match hardscape with the materials of the house. Mid-century modern homes could use concrete or pea gravel while other periods might call for brick, stone or wood hardscape.

Select plants with multiple seasons of interest. Think about the architecture of plants, their foliage, flowers, seasonal interests, berries and bark. Place plants where you can enjoy their seasonal characteristics. Consider what you see out your windows in winter.

Use design elements of the house as a guide. Say you have a nicely arched front door or entryway. Echo that form in a similar-shaped piece of furniture or plant placed in the area.

Let the structure of nature be a model. Nature has multiple layers, so emulate them in the landscape for a natural look and feel. The canopy of trees forms the ceiling, shrubs the wall and low-growing plants the floor.

Employing the design of nature allows us to create rooms or intimate spaces where we can escape the stresses of the day, enjoy a dinner or a glass of wine.

Lastly, he said, remember nature’s food web:

• Integrate landscape structure with the environment.

• Layer plantings.

• Plant lot line to lot line.

• Establish a matrix with regionally native plants.

• Establish a fauna feeding hierarchy through native plant diversity.

• Reduce or eliminate pesticide use.

Article source: http://archive.indystar.com/article/20140218/LIFE0102/302180035/Create-inviting-spaces-relax-your-garden

Sensory Garden shortlisted for national design awards

THE success of Lancing’s Sensory Garden project was recognised when it reached the finals of a national garden-design competition.

The garden, designed by David Pope of The Project Centre, was shortlisted for the 2013 Society of Garden Designers (SGD) award for Designing in the Community.

Landscape architect Mr Pope said the hard work of Lancing residents had deservedly put the village on the garden-design map.

“One of the rewards of being a landscape architect is making a positive change to a place like Wenceling Garden in Lancing, and seeing your work appreciated and enjoyed by others,” he said.

“To have my design recognised by the Society of Garden Designers as worthy of being a finalist in their annual awards is really the icing on the cake.

“It doesn’t matter that we didn’t win in our category – to see pictures of our little garden up on a big screen next to the work of the UK’s top designers was deeply satisfying.”

The project was instigated by the Lancing Regeneration community group and funded through a combination of the Adur Pot of gold, funds from West Sussex County Council, Lancing Parish Council, Lancing and Sompting Lions, the Sussex Gardens Trust, Southern Water and Sussex Police, and through other private donations.

It was coordinated by Lydia Schilbach, of Red Hen Projects, who said seeing all the effort recognised at a national level was hugely rewarding.

“Lancing’s Sensory Garden Project was a community project from start to finish with a relatively small budget and a tight time-scale,” said Ms Schilbach.

“This standard of high-quality design should be something that local councils, developers and communities should be constantly working towards in Lancing.

The competition’s judges said they were looking at the circumstances behind the garden design and the affect it had had on the community that used it.

SGD chairman Juliet Sargeant said the annual SGD awards had gone from strength to strength.

“Members of the SGD undertake every kind of exterior project that you could imagine,” she said.

“The SGD awards has burst onto the landscaping scene and I am tremendously proud of the excellent standard of entries received and the exciting showcase it has become.”

Work begins this month on Headborough Gardens.

Article source: http://www.worthingherald.co.uk/news/local/sensory-garden-shortlisted-for-national-design-awards-1-5887382