(The following Letter to the Editor has been submitted by the Executive Director of the Iowa Professional Lawn Care Association, Randle J. Robinson):
"Spring is here and it's a time to celebrate the tremendous benefits that healthy lawns provide to our families, communities and the environment. Unfortunately, the May 10th Letter to the Editor titled "Don't spray your lawn" is likely to leave readers woefully misinformed and unnecessarily distressed about the safety of lawn care products.
The truth is that pesticides and other lawn care treatments are essential to maintain healthy lawns and green spaces--and their value is much greater than cosmetic. Proper application wards off disease-carrying insects, prevents uncontrolled weeds from causing debilitating allergy attacks and protects native plants from being killed by invasive species. Healthy lawns also provide other essential benefits: delivering oxygen, capturing pollution, and protecting against soil erosion and water runoff.
Of course, responsible application of lawn care products used in residential and public spaces is crucial. That's why lawn care professionals undergo rigorous training to determine what products, if any, are appropriate for lawns and turfgrass on a case by case basis--products that are thoroughly evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency for their potential health and safety risks to humans, wildlife and water systems before they are made available for consumer or commercial use. Further, professionals are trained to use all the tools in their toolbox--including practices such as aeration and overseeding--to balance the need for lawn care products.
Rest assured, we--professionals who apply lawn care products--breathe the same air, drink the same water and raise our children in this same community; we all want our environment to continue to thrive."