Golf’s true toxicity

Editor:

I am writing in response to the April 22 letter from Mr. John Herbert titled “Free Golf” where he stated “golf courses are a major source of pollution.”

First I would like to educate the public on just how toxic pesticides really are. All substances are given an LD50, lethal dose mg of a substance that will kill 50 percent of a test population per kilogram of body weight. LD50s are defined as highly toxic 0-50; slightly toxic 500-5,000; and rarely toxic over 5,000. Most commonly used pesticides range from 1,900-5,100. The lower the number the more toxic a substance.

Here’s a list of commonly used chemicals people use every day: caffeine 127mg/kg; nicotine, 50mg/kg; and bleach, 850mg/kg!

Golf course superintendents are highly educated individuals whose No. 1 priority is environmental stewardship. We use an IPM (integrated pest management) approach which balances the effects on the environment vs. the need for our “pristine conditions.” We do not use “enormous amounts of pesticides” which pollute the environment.

In the past 10 years we have donated over $1.7 million toward the EIFG (Environmental Institute for Golf) which helps fund research for awareness of golfs environmental efforts to protect the environment.

Most golf courses have created wetlands and natural areas to help promote a healthy wildlife habitat including protected species. Some courses have gone as far as to be nationally certified by Audubon International which means they have implemented sustainable natural resource management practices. We all learned in grade school that plants absorb CO2 and convert it to usable carbon and oxygen that we humans need to be able to breathe.

So next time you want to educate the public on pollution from golf courses, I urge you to research the facts. Which by the way, you had none.

Joel Webber

Golf course superintendent

New Waterford