Students need warning from university
University fails to notify students of pesticide spray
Published: Monday, October 8, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 8, 2012 12:10
Students occupy the Green everyday without considering the harsh chemicals university Grounds Department uses to keep the lawns manicured. According to a university groundskeeper, the university treats the grass with two chemics: Powerzone and Basagran. Powerzone is a chemical composed of 41 percent of 2,4-7, which is a compound that made up 50 percent of Agent Orange, a chemical used in the Vietnam War. Studies at the University of Nebraska have linked 2,4-D to causing cancer and increasing the link of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The chemicals in Powerzone and Basagran may lead to adverse side effects, including skin irritation, dizziness, and coughing, according to the National Pesticide Information Center. More shockingly, the chemical safety information urges users to restrict contact with the treated lawn for at least 48-hours after spraying chemicals. The university fails give students notice of any chemical practice with signs on the Green.
The university could implement a number of practices to prevent its pool of 17,000 students from reacting to the chemicals in the pesticide. Facilities can split up treating different sections of the Green at a time, put up caution tape around an infected area, or even send emails and print signs making students more aware. Yet, the university grounds even failed to discuss details of this practice. During the investigation of the Green’s chemical treatment, the reporter for the story had a difficult time getting in contact with a representative from the university. On the other hand, Harvard University’s landscaping representative got back to the reporter within 24-hours, happy to discuss details of their universities natural organic practices. This lack of communication breeds suspicion: why can’t the university disclose details of its lawn treatment?
It is understandable that the university needs to use pesticides and other chemical treatments to upkeep our scenic Green, but it is suspicious that no one will talk about the amount of chemicals that go into the concoction treating our grass. Some students choose Delaware because the Green offers a place of outdoor serenity, but it is not worth enjoying at the cost of a health risk. Moreover, tens of thousands of students attend the university: there is bound to be a handful of people allergic to a number of chemicals used to treat the Green and other lawns. The university clearly needs to make students more aware of when and where they are treating the lawns to prevent any type of allergic reactions both students and staff may have.