Lawn Care: Preventing Poisoning

Everything you need to know about lawn care safety

(RxWiki News) With spring in full swing and summer around the corner, you may be starting to tend to your lawn and garden. But some potential hazards may be lurking in your lawn care routine.

Many people use lawn chemicals to get their garden to bounce back from winter and to prepare for the summer's heat.

However, these chemicals can pose health risks. Below, we discuss some common chemicals and things you need to know to keep your family safe.


Available in powder form, lime is used to change the soil pH. Because it is in powder form and can easily blow into your face, it's best to use lime on days with no wind.

That's because the powder can cause irritation to the eyes, nose and throat. If this happens, brush the powder off as best as you can. Then quickly run a lot of water over your face and skin.

Also, take steps to prevent the lime from becoming wet. Wet lime can burn the skin.


Fertilizer can irritate the eyes, nose or mouth upon exposure. If ingested, fertilizer can cause stomach upset.

Typically, fertilizers for "home use" do not cause any other problems. But if the fertilizer also contains weed killers and insecticides, it can cause more harm.


Also called weed killers, these products can cause irritation to the skin and eyes. If inhaled, weed killers can cause lung irritation.

Accidental ingestion is the most serious safety hazard tied to weed killers.


Some types of insecticides can cause problems if they are absorbed through the skin, inhaled or swallowed. Poisoning symptoms can be as mild as stomach upset and as severe as seizures. The symptoms will depend on the ingredients.

Experts recommend applying insecticides to your lawn on days with no wind. Wear long sleeves and pants to cover your skin. Do not apply near children or pets.

General Recommendations

  1. Always follow product label directions.
  2. Store products properly. (Check the product label directions.)
  3. Keep out of reach of children and pets (preferably behind a lock).
  4. Never transfer lawn chemicals to unmarked containers.
  5. Use proper protective gear when handling.
  6. Wash your hands after each use.

If you get any lawn care chemical on your skin or in your eyes, quickly rinse the skin and/or eyes with running water for 15 to 20 minutes. For guidance, you can use the webPOISONCONTROL® tool or call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222. If any of these products are swallowed, quickly call Poison Control.