Students need warning from university
University fails to notify students of pesticide spray
Published: Monday, October 8, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 8, 2012 21:10
Students interact with The Green everyday without considering the harsh chemicals the university Grounds Services uses to keep the lawns manicured.
According to a university spokesman, the groundskeepers treat the grass with two herbicide sprays, PowerZone and Basagran T/O.
The chemicals in PowerZone may cause adverse side effects including skin irritation and allergic reaction, according to the product’s safety information. A main ingredient in the spray is considered a possible carcinogen by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, a division of the Center for Disease Control.
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 to 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 more than 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 the area being treated or even send emails and print signs making students more aware. There are a slew of tactics to increase student awareness and reasons why the university fails to elaborate are unknown.
It is understandable that the university needs to use pesticides and other chemical treatments to upkeep our scenic Green. The Green represents a cornerstone of the university for both students and faculty, as well as community members, so it is important for facilities to upkeep its appearance. What is upsetting is how officials are not more communicative about what is happening and do not take measure to warn students.
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 people attend and work at the university so 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 and faculty more aware of when and where they are treating the lawns to prevent any type of allergic reactions that may be had on a seemingly safe walk to class.