Ask Annie: Leukemia or a Weedless Lawn?

Something big has happened in Canada, and I’d love it if we would all celebrate by urging our state governments to follow the Canadians’ lead. The provinces of Ontario and Quebec have both banned the use of cosmetic pesticides! These are the type you put on your lawn and spray on your rose bushes. Astonishingly, Home Depot is listening and voluntarily stopping the sale of traditional pesticides in Canada and replacing them with eco-friendly versions.

This is big news because the reason for this is to protect the health of pregnant women and children. Research shows that children who are exposed to pesticides and herbicides have a higher risk of leukemia, among other things.

Skip herbicides this spring. To avoid weeds, mulch your garden instead. Cover the area with newspapers, then cover the papers with a more decorative mulch. This process will smother any weed growth. Concerns about toxins in newspaper inks are outdated. Pretty mulches include pine needles, hay, stones, straw, seaweed, peat moss—anything you have that is wholesome and abundant. Just avoid cocoa mulch as it is lethal to pets.

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Hartson Doak
Hartson Doak4 years ago

Half a century ago, Organic Gardening and Farming Magazine was publishing ideas such as this. It is nice to see that it is now becoming mainstream.

Laurie Greenberg
Laurie Greenberg4 years ago


Winn Adams
Winn Adams4 years ago

Thanks so much for this info.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener4 years ago

HOORAY, if only Australia could be this insightful... but am afraid it will cost a couple of decades more fighting the ignorance around pesticides and herbicides here!

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

Thanks so much for this story

Nina Anghel
Nina Anghel4 years ago


Chris Ray
Chris R.4 years ago


Chris Ray
Chris R.4 years ago


Bon L.
Bon L.5 years ago

Thanks for the info.

K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.