Hidden Side Effects of Chemical Weed Killers

side effects from weed killers

Of course as gardeners, we know that when there are weeds in our backyard we must employ chemical killers. That’s because the spread of weeds can seriously damage the plants that you’ve worked so hard to harvest all summer long. However, while overall these chemical weed killers are definitely beneficial, there are some hidden side effects that need to be recognized.

1. Unintentional Spread

  • Since most weed killers come in a spray form, it’s often very difficult to control what parts of your yard and garden are getting squirted.  In other words, while you’re aiming the spray at an unwanted plant, the herbicide can actually land onto nearby plants that you don’t want to get infected.  Besides this, you also have to worry about windy days. That’s because when the wind is blowing, the spray may drift and land on an area where it wasn’t intended for.  Then, there is the effect that high temperatures and dry conditions have on these sprays. During these times, the spray often turns into a gas, and therefore travels to other areas in your yard. When any of the above happens, the other plants that get sprayed in the crossfire can die, which means you’ll be left with many damaged trees and shurbs in your backyard.

2. Health and Environment Impact

  • The chemicals found in weed killers can cause a lot more damage than you think. For starters, there is all the harm it can cause to the environment. When these chemicals drift out of your backyard, they can travel to other areas where there’s plants or wildlife. The chemicals in the spray can also end up washing away into local waterways or even go directly into the groundwater supply. Similar to this, the weed killer can end up getting into the human food chain, which will be detrimental not only for the environment, but our own health as well. If we end up inhaling or swallowing a herbicide, this could cause us to get sick or even die. However, that’s all dependent on the amount of chemical killers we ingest, what kind of chemical it is and hold old we are.

photo credit:  istockphoto