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LAWN CARE PROFESSIONALS TAKE A RESPONSIBLE APPROACH

 LAWN CARE PROFESSIONALS TAKE A RESPONSIBLE APPROACH
 PLAINFIELD, Ill., May 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The following release was authored by Barry Matthews, vice president of Spring-Green Lawn Care Corp.:
 The signs of spring are everywhere...tulips are blooming, birds are nesting and lawns are turning green. Plus, yard work has started in earnest by homeowners and lawn and landscape professionals alike.
 In past springs, some controversy has dogged the professional lawn care industry. Horror stories about lawn pesticides were told to a public that didn't have the scientific background to tell fiction from fact. Before this spring goes any further and the stories pop up once again like dandelions, I'd like to tell the professional's side of the story.
 First, let's put professional lawn and landscape care in perspective: Professionals provide service to only 15 percent of the landscapes that receive care; the remaining 85 percent are treated by the do-it-yourselfer, or the weekend "yardener." Yes, you and your neighbors can buy and apply virtually the same chemicals we professionals use. And you can do this without a license, or training, or even a promise that you'll read and follow label directions (although I encourage you to do so).
 However, as professional lawn and landscape care providers, we take our responsibility for safety seriously. After all, we're exposed to lawn care products 10,000 times more than our customers. It stands to reason that we would do nothing to jeopardize the safety of ourselves, much less our families, friends, neighbors and communities.
 To ensure a high standard of safety, professionals are trained in chemical handling; wear the appropriate protective gear when working with concentrated products; apply the proper products at the recommended rates for diagnosed problems; and use equipment designed for the job at hand.
 Lawn and landscape care professionals are also highly regulated by the federal and state governments. We're under the jurisdiction of an alphabet soup of laws and agencies, inlcuding FIFRA, RCRA, EPA, FTC, OSHA and DOT. And in Illinois, the state's highly capable Department of Agriculture also oversees our practices.
 All pesticides used in lawn and landscape care are registered by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and by the Illinois Department of Agriculture for use in our state. Registration means the products will perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on the environment. The EPA defines unreasonable adverse effects as any unreasonable risk to people or the environment, taking into account the economic, social and environmental costs and benefits of the use of any pesticide. Although we won't guarantee absolute safety because nothing is absolutely safe, we can promise that we do everything possible to minimize any risk to you and to ourselves.
 Professional lawn services must also abide by the Illinois Lawn Care Products Application and Notice Act. This Act took effect in 1990; among its many provisions, it ensures that customers have information about their service and their abutting neighbors have the right to request advance notice of an application.
 If you have professional lawn or landscape service to care for your lawn, or if you're considering hiring one, follow these few simple guides to be sure your relationship is a beneficial one not only for your landscape, but for you and your family.
 -- Make sure the firm is licensed to do business in the state, and has licensed pesticide applicators on staff. Both are required by state law.
 -- Ask the company representative what products may be applied to your lawn. According to state law, the company must give its customers information about what products were applied, the reason they were applied, the range of concentration or the amount applied; special instructions that apply to the use of the lawn; and the business name, telephone number and name of the person who made the application. (A typical liquid application consists of about 93 percent water, 6 percent fertilizer, and 1 percent or less pesticide, if a pesticide is applied at all.)
 -- Ask if your property will be posted with a marker when any products are applied. This is required by Illinois law. You may remove the marker the day following the application.
 -- Find out what training the company provides its employees. Federal OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations require employers to prepare a written hazard communication program, then develop and implement an employee information and training program.
 The Illinois Lawn Care Products Application and Notice Act is a good law. It's supported by professional lawn and landscape care service providers, and it's welcomed by our customers. What's more, it's working.
 Personally, I am proud to be associated with an industry that takes such a responsible approach to address the perceived concerns of the public while caring for the real needs of our customers and their environments. This approach is the true mark of the professional, after all.
 -0- 5/14/92
 /CONTACT: Barry Matthews of Spring-Green Lawn Care Corp., 815-436-8777/ CO: Spring-Green Lawn Care Corp. ST: Ohio IN: SU:


CG -- CL015 -- 0332 05/14/92 14:56 EDT
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Date:May 14, 1992
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