Almost all of the US is cared for by residents, not in state or federal preserves.
The only way to keep these pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and pharmaceuticals out of our water and protect the health of our children is to not use them on our yards and not to throw pharmaceuticals and chemicals down our drains and toilets.
We now know that very small amounts of these chemicals can adversely effect human health causing problems as diverse as Autism, ADHD, diabetes and cancer.
Some cause cancer by damaging DNA.
Some are endocrine disruptors, and tiny amounts of these can prevent hormones from functioning normally.
They can block normal hormones from acting on target cells.
They can act like hormones on target cells when no normal hormones are present.
Some examples of disruption:
Thyroid hormone-abnormal brain development
Hormones of metabolism-diabetes
According to the USGS at least one pesticide was found in almost every water and fish sample collected from streams and in about one-half of all wells sampled. Moreover, individual pesticides seldom were found alone— almost every contaminated sample contained two or more pesticides.
Standards do not account for cumulative action of numerous chemicals, activity of breakdown products, or those products that are not tested for.
The first ever National Rivers and Streams Assessment performed by the EPA and released in 2013 found so much fertilizer in more than half of the water nationwide and up to 71% in the East and Midwest that it was of poor quality to support life.
Deformed frogs in Lake Champlain and a significant decrease in the population of 40 species of songbirds in North America and Colony Collapse Disorder in bees all result at least partly from these contaminants. These are indicator species, protecting them is protecting our families.
Especially water. Our bodies are 60 percent water. We may not see the contaminants in water, but they still harm us. But if we do not put them into the water, our water will be healthy.
TAKE THE PLEDGE
I pledge to take care of my yard without synthetic pesticides, weedkillers and fertilizers except on rare occasions to resolve an infestation or to improve habitat for native plants and wildlife.
I also pledge not to throw pharmaceuticals or chemicals down my drains or toilets.
OUR YARDS. OUR CHILDREN. OUR RESPONSIBILITY.