In the News
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Maryland County Bans Lawn Pesticides - or Does it?

The Montgomery County, Maryland, Council has passed an ordinance banning what it calls “cosmetic pesticides” on private lawns. The devil, however, is in the details. The term “cosmetic” means “unnecessary.” Who decides what weed-killers are really “unnecessary?” The ordinance, to go into effect in 2018, makes an exception for “noxious" and “invasive” weeds and for weed-killing efforts to control “biting or stinging insects.” Deciding which weeds are “noxious” and “invasive” is complicated. And who is to say when weed control is essential? These are loopholes you can drive a lawn tractor through. There are numerous, hard-to-parse exemptions permitting pesticide use on playing fields, gardens, farms and other stretches of land.

Still, it’s significant that Montgomery County, a suburb of Washington D.C., is striving to give priority to public health by taking this important first step toward lowering its residents’ exposure to pesticides, many of which are linked to cancer. Read more about Montgomery County lawn pesticide restrictions…