Common Sense Can Stop Pesticides From Being Tracked Into the House
A government funded study shows that weed killers and other pesticides applied to lawns can be tracked into homes by people and pets up to a week after treatment, causing unnecessary exposure, particularly to children. By taking commonsense steps such as removing shoes before entering the house and restricting youngsters and pets from lawns following application, consumers can substantially reduce track-in, concludes the study.
Results of the study, involving application of the herbicide 2,4-D to the lawns of 13 homes in the Columbus, Ohio, area, are scheduled to appear in the May 1 print issue of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology, published by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. The research was initially published on the journal's web site on March 31.
The study was done by Battelle Memorial Institute laboratories in Columbus and is one of several being sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Exposure Research Laboratory in Research Triangle Park, N.C., to assess the potential exposures of small children to pesticides used in and around the home.
The measurement of pesticide levels in the Ohio houses is the first actual in-home proof that 2,4-D can be tracked into residences up to a week after application to lawns. The scientists had previously predicted the track-in based on simulation studies.
Rooms with carpeted floors, when compared to bare floor areas, generally had higher levels of tracked-in 2,4-D, according to the journal article. In homes with bare floor entryways, the highest levels of the herbicide were found in carpeted living rooms and bedrooms. In homes with carpeted entryways, the levels were higher there than in other parts of the house.