By Lindsay Andarakis
Perfect Earth Project has named Southampton Hospital a “PRFCT Place,” the first healthcare facility to earn the designation from the East Hampton-based nonprofit. Southampton Hospital will be honored at a celebration of Southampton’s PRFCT Places at the Southampton Arts Center on Saturday, March 19 at 2 p.m.
The PRFCT Places program honors public spaces that are committed to maintaining lawns and gardens without toxic, synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.
“We’re thrilled that Southampton Hospital has pledged to end the use of synthetic lawn and landscape chemicals on their property,” Founder and President of the Perfect Earth Project, Edwina von Gal said. “We hope their commitment to protecting their patients, visitors and staff from toxic landscape chemicals will serve as an example for other healthcare facilities on Long Island and across the nation.”
Common lawn and landscape chemicals have been linked to a range of serious health issues in humans and pets including cancers, asthma, neurological disorders and endocrine disruption. Children, pregnant women and pets are most vulnerable to these chemicals.
The World Health Organization classifies Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, as a probable human carcinogen. Atrazine and 2,4-D, two commonly used herbicides, are known endocrine disruptors, chemicals that interfere with the development and functioning of the reproductive and nervous systems. A recent study by researchers at the University of Buffalo revealed that common insecticides disrupt circadian rhythms, a condition that creates higher potential risks for diabetes.
“We are pleased to be on the vanguard of support for PRFCT Places. The health of Southampton Hospital’s staff, volunteers, patients, visitors and pet therapy dogs is critically important and joining the Perfect Earth Project is another opportunity for us to maintain a healthy environment on our campus,” Southampton Hospital President and CEO, Robert Chaloner said. The 6.5-acre Southampton Hospital grounds include a volunteer-tended Garden of Hope to honor patients and community members at the entrance of the Ellen Hermanson Breast Center.
This season, Perfect Earth Project will consult with Southampton Hospital staff and landscape contractors, train volunteers in the hospital’s gardens, and provide educational materials to help staff eliminate their use of landscape chemicals at home. The hospital will post signs and posters to inform visitors about the benefits of toxin-free landscaping for the health of people, wildlife and local bodies of water.
PRFCT Places on the East End include The Village of East Hampton, The Parrish Art Museum, Bridge Gardens and Madoo Conservancy. In the region, the Phillip Johnson Glass House in Connecticut, The High Line, The Battery and Four Freedoms Park in New York City are all PRFCT Places.
For more information, please visit perfectearthproject.org or southamptonhospital.org.