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Little yellow flags? Not in Connecticut

Friday, June 27, 2008

Dog on the lawnYou know that old folk song about little boxes on the hillside? If it were written now, songwriter Melvina Reynolds would likely have added a verse about little yellow flags on the lawns.

Those little pesticide flags are ubiquitous -- in fact, there are some right outside my apartment building, which has only a narrow strip of grass for a "lawn." But this year, Connecticut has taken a step away from the flags and the pesticides they signify. The state will not be applying pesticides, herbicides or fungicides to the grounds of elementary or middle schools.

Connecticut's lawn care industry is not pleased. The implication is that this move by the state may signal a turning of the tide against lawn-care chemicals, although one lawn care professional told Mother Jones expressly that he's not worried. He says that rather than banning pesticides outright, schools should use Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which employs pesticides as a very last resort. I could get behind that, as long as certain chemicals -- like, you know, the one that's made of 50% Agent Orange -- were prohibited.