Written by Elizabeth Boham, MD
Your Beautiful Lawn May Be Harming Your Health

Your Beautiful Lawn May Be Harming Your Health

Is Your Perfect Lawn Making You Sick?

As a breast cancer survivor, I know firsthand how devastating the diagnosis of cancer is. So when I pass by signs warning to “Keep off Lawn for 24 Hours” because of the application of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, I get upset. At the age of 30, I was diagnosed with an aggressive triple negative breast cancer. I have spent the last 17 years working to better understand why I developed cancer and how I can prevent this from happening to my patients. The medical community is learning more and more about how the same chemicals that are being used to attempt to produce a beautiful lawn may be hurting our health.  

What’s wrong with lawn care chemicals?  

Pesticides and herbicides can act as endocrine disruptors, which disturb the binding of our hormones. These chemicals can increase the activity level of aromatase. Aromatase is an enzyme in our bodies that converts some hormones (such as DHEA and testosterone) into estrogen. Aromatase and the increase in estrogen that it can produce has such a strong link to breast cancer that a medication to inhibit aromatase is used to treat some breast cancers. The endocrine disruptors in pesticides and herbicides are a key factor in the increase of estrogen in our bodies and, consequently, an increased risk of breast cancer.  

Waiting 24 Hours Doesn’t Solve the Problem

The problem is that we disassociate our health with the chemicals we are placing on our lawns or crops. We feel that if we wait the 24 hours after the application of the herbicide, it will be absorbed into the ground and we won’t have to worry about it.  But where are these chemicals going? From our lawns, the chemicals infiltrate our water supply and harm our planet’s ecosystems. In fact, these herbicides and pesticides have been found to cause changes in the reproductive organs in frogs and fish.

What Else Can I Do?

As with every disease, there are many things that impact our individual risk of getting cancer. We now realize that there are some cases of breast cancer that are preventable. The American Institute for Cancer Research estimates that at least 33 percent of U.S. breast cancer cases could be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active, breastfeeding and avoiding alcoholIn addition, there are many other things we can do to lower our risk even further. Remember, the key is to create a healthy terrain in your body where cancer is less likely to grow. To learn more about creating a cancer-free terrain you can download my free ebook at http://www.drboham.com/free-ebook.

Why do we feel we need a perfect lawn? Think before you apply these herbicides and pesticides to your lawn or garden. Let’s work to change the norm for our health, the health of our children and the health of our environment. Join me in taking the pesticide free pledge! Share pictures of your pesticide free lawn below.  

To your health,
Elizabeth

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