Q: I’d like to use weed killers in my lawn, but I worry about hurting the environment. What are the risks?

A: The main risks are letting chemicals get into waterways and groundwater. That can contaminate drinking water and harm aquatic life.

Q: How can I prevent that?

A: It’s actually pretty simple. First, read the label well so you use the right amount and don’t have excess chemicals. Don’t apply herbicides when it’s going to rain because it can get washed away into storm drains and the watershed. And if you’re spraying, don’t do it on a windy day when the chemicals can blow places you don’t want them to. Basically, it’s about using the right amount and avoiding runoff.

Spraying Herbicides in a garden

Q: What are the risks to me?

A: These are strong chemicals, and you want to avoid having them touch your skin. And you also have to keep them from getting into your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Q: And how do I do that?

A: Long sleeves, pants, non-absorbent gloves and shoes, and goggles are important. If you’re spraying, a hat and some kind of facial covering is a good idea, too. And check that whatever containers the herbicides are in aren’t leaking. Also, as mentioned above, don’t spray chemicals when it’s windy.

Taking Care while herbicides spray

Q: What do I do when I’m done?

A: Make sure all containers are sealed and not leaking before you store them. If you used other tools, keep everything together. Wash your gloves before removing them. If they’re disposable gloves, discard them right away.

Q: About the storage, where should everything go? Is it okay to keep the herbicides indoors?

A: Never store lawn chemicals inside a house. There is the risk of a spill, and it is far easier for children or pets to get into them. A garage is a much better choice, especially if there are high shelves you can use. Even better is a storage shed. Bonus points if you can lock it.

Keeping Children and Pets Safe from Chemical Spray

Q: What else can I do to protect my family and pets?

A: After you remove the clothes you wore, wash them separately from any other laundry. Then run a cycle with just water and detergent to clean the washer out better. If you used any household items such as measuring cups or stirrers, don’t reuse them in the house; just keep them with the rest of the stored materials. Finally, check the label for warnings about how long you may have to avoid a treated area. If it says to keep away for three hours, make sure no one goes there for three hours.

Q: So overall, these products are safe to use as long as I’m informed and follow directions and take proper precautions?

A: Yes. There is no reason that you can’t use herbicides for weed control without harming yourself, others, or the environment. But if it sounds too troublesome or you worry you might not do something right, then don’t hesitate to contact a professional lawn-servicing company. They’ll get it right for sure!

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