Companies that manufacture herbicides and insecticides for our lawns and gardens often reassure us that these agents are safe for our families and our pets. Of course, our common residential pets do not eat vegetation and their life spans may be too short to notice any secondary effects. And the companies do not report any 60-70 year studies that absolve their products from long term effects on human health.
Neither do these chemical vendors provide data on toxicity to earthworms, beneficial insects, toads, snakes, birds, field mice, shrews and other residential wildlife. Even if studies failed to demonstrate an impact on these creatures, secondary and tertiary consumers (such as fox, hawks and owls) might be at risk, since toxins concentrate along the food chain. Then there is the issue of runoff, where chemicals and fertilizers spread on our yards drain into marshlands, lakes and bays, where amphibians, fish and other aquatic species are threatened.
To believe that any chemical application has no impact on the natural environment is to have blind faith in the industries that benefit from their use and production. That weedless lawn and insect-free garden come at a cost to all life on this planet, including humans.