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Golf at a Crossroads: Hazardous or Healthy Strategies

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Today we see golf course maintenance at the crossroads between hazardous and healthy strategies. This is a major challenge as there is no national, independently verified certification program for monitoring the degree of pesticide use on golf courses in the United States. The total number of active ingredients (AIs) eligible for inclusion in EPA-registered pesticide products for use on golf courses is over 68. This paper focuses on 29 AIs, identified as the most common chemical pesticides used on our nation's courses today. These AIs also may be called "chemical pesticides" or simply "pesticides." Of these 29 pesticide AIs: 12 are herbicides, 7 are insecticides, and 10 are fungicides. Golfers can come in contact directly with chemical pesticides used on golf course turf by touching their equipment, shoes, or clothing especially after touching the grass itself. Golfers can ingest chemicals from pesticide-contaminated skin if they smoke, eat or drink after or during play without first washing their hands. They can inhale chemicals that vaporize from the grass. Volatility is most likely to occur immediately after the chemical application, but also depends on the temperature and climate of the course, as well as the chemical properties of the pesticides.

Document Type: Commentary


Publication date: June 1, 2010

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