If you are a dog owner at Piermont Landing, your dog is likely walking on or across the grass every day. Even if you are not a resident but have walked on the public walkway or Ferry Road on the way to the Pier, the chance of exposure is there.
Dogs are especially vulnerable to lawn care chemicals, for all of the obvious behavioral reasons. Additionally, humans and dogs share over 360 analogous diseases, including various cancers. While human diseases can take many years to develop, dogs can develop comparable diseases from exposure to the same environmental contaminants at a much quicker pace. Dogs can be said to serve as “canaries in the coal mine” for human health risks related to pesticides. And, of course, pets are cherished members of our families, whose health matters.
Your dog doesn't even have to live at Piermont Landing to have been exposed. If he/she has walked on the public access walkway along the river, or walked along Ferry Road, there is a good chance they have been exposed to the pesticides applied at Piermont Landing.
A seven-year study conducted at Tufts’ School of Veterinary Medicine and published in 2012 in Environmental Research found that dogs whose owners’ lawns were professionally treated with pesticides had a significantly higher risk (70%) of canine malignant lymphoma. The researchers noted that “canine malignant lymphoma (CML) has been established as a model for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL),” thereby making it clear that their research has serious implications for human health as well as canine health.
A 2004 study at Purdue Veterinary focused on the link between exposure to herbicide-treated lawns and gardens and the risk of bladder cancer in Scottish terriers, a breed particularly vulnerable to this illness. The risk of bladder cancer was found to be between four and seven times higher in exposed animals.
A 1994 article in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention reported on a study of the extent to which dogs absorb and excrete 2,4-D (a commonly used herbicide, which was a component of Agent Orange) in their urine after contact with treated lawns. The study found that “dogs living in and around residences with recent 2,4-D lawn treatment absorb measurable amounts of the herbicide for several days after application” and that this may have relevance for studying the effects of herbicides on the induction of lymphoid cancer.