Kathy Jordan suspects pesticides caused health problems for both her and her childhood cat. Although both recovered, the allure of a chemically-treated lawn is no longer the same for her.
"In the 1980's my next-door neighbors hired Chemlawn on a regular basis. I was a child and because their grass was so lovely and carpet-like, I spent more time in their yard than in my own.
At that time, there was no warning to stay off of the grass after treatment, and so no one ever instructed me or my neighborhood friends to avoid the treated grass. During summer vacations, I remember spending hours lying in their grass, playing tag with my friends, etc. I even loved the smell of Chemlawn, because of the positive associations I had with it.
One day, when I came home from school, my parents told me that our cat had been taken to the vet because he'd been sprayed with Chemlawn. He was clearly sick after having contact with the spray. My cat recovered, and because I was a child, I didn't think twice about the chemicals' effect on humans. I continued to spend lots of time in my neighbors' yard.
In 1989, at the age of 16, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I spent the next year battling cancer instead of being a happy, healthy teenager.
No one can say for sure what caused my cancer, but the thought has crossed my mind many times that it might have been the chemicals sprayed on my neighbors' lawn.
Since then, I have been a strong believer in keeping green areas natural.
Chemicals do not belong where children play.