Man Fertility and I were just in Arizona, where it was so hot (our car thermometer said 125 degrees at one point) that we actually so wilted cacti. Yet, we also so tons of lush, rolling grassy golf courses (with fountains). But, just like when my mom and I got twin "allergic" reactions at a florist, something about the grass made me feel a bit funny. Could it have been the pesticides?
Among the big winners in Bush's proposed rollback of pesticide restrictions? The politically untouchable golf industry, where dangerous chemicals are par for the course AND bad for the ozone layer:
By Jake TapperJanuary 31, 2003 | Methyl bromide gas is some pretty nasty stuff.
The toxic pesticide has a habit of affecting non-target organisms as well as the pests it seeks. Human exposure to too much of it can lead to death, respiratory failure, central nervous failure and permanent disabilities; pregnant women exposed to it risk fetal defects. And, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, "methyl bromide contributes significantly to the destruction of earth's stratospheric ozone layer" and for that reason, on Nov. 28, 2000, the U.S. government agreed to a 70 percent reduction of its use this year, with a complete ban to kick in by 2005.
One might be inclined to feel some sympathy for the Virginia Tomato Growers, the Sweet Potato Council of California or the Rice Millers' Association. They feed us. But golfers? Specifically, in its application (click here for a PDF copy; requires Adobe Acrobat) the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America wants EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman to allow its members to use, from 2005-2007, 734,400 pounds of a chemical so toxic and environmentally damaging it will be banned nearly everywhere else. This exemption is sought so the courses can continue to look pretty.
"Methyl bromide is used on golf courses when they resurface greens," explains GCSAA spokesman Jeff Bollig. "Greens are covered with a tarp sort-of material and they shoot the gas in -- it kills the existing grass so it can be replaced with a better strain."
And the EPA, according to some reports, appears inclined to grant the golf association its wish. Naturally, the environmental community is up in arms. "We don't think that methyl bromide should have a place on the farm, let alone the fairway," says Allen Mattison, spokesman for the national Sierra Club. "There is certainly a better solution than a substance that depletes the ozone layer and causes irreversible environmental harm."The Bush administration, however, has been able to slowly roll back a series of such restriction in the past few years, with little notice, or outrage, from the public at large.
read more here or just stay away from golf courses...