Recently someone told me she was walking her dog near an elementary school and saw a fellow power spraying Roundup all along the side of the building. He was power spraying a rocky area where there were no weeds. He obviously didn’t know what he was doing as Roundup is supposed to be sprayed on weeds, not on rocks. However, he shouldn’t even been using Roundup.
Roundup is a very dangerous product. The active ingredient is glyphosate and its effects are insidious, because the long-term effects are often not immediately apparent. When our children or pets are exposed to it, you will not see the effects right away, but they can show up years later. Some of the pathologies to which glyphosate could plausibly contribute include inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, depression, ADHD, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis,cancer, infertility, developmental malformations and there are others. Scientists have been documenting the health consequences of Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, in our food, water, in the air we breathe and where our children play. They’ve have found that people who are sick have higher levels of glyphosate in their bodies than healthy people.
In a study of children with brain cancer compared with healthy children, researchers found that if either parent had been exposed to Roundup during the two years before the child’s birth, the chances of the child developing brain cancer doubled. Very low doses of Roundup can disrupt human liver cell function, according to a study published in Toxicology in 2009.
The brain-damaging effects of herbicides have been recognized as the main environmental factor associated with neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. The onset of Parkinson’s following exposure to glyphosate has been well documented and lab studies have shown that glyphosate induces the cell death characteristic of the disease.
According to an article published by BioMed Research International, tested the toxicity of nine major pesticides, which included 3 herbicides, 3 insecticides and 3 fungicides. Despite its reputation of being safe, Roundup was found to be by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. This study was published online on Feb. 26, 2014.
Are there safe alternatives that can be used? Yes, there are. One commercial product that is natural is Avenger. This product is an organic weed killer. You can also spray weeds with vinegar. I use a gallon of vinegar with a cup of salt to spray weeds. This is best done on a sunny day. Either of these products should be used in schools and on public property. Roundup should only be used by private citizens on private property if they want to use it. Nobody should unknowingly be exposed to it, or any pesticides for that matter. If it has to be used for some reason, and it doesn’t, then any agency who uses it should post notification so people can avoid the area.
Given the known toxic effects of glyphosate, it is imperative that it shouldn’t be used in schools or other public areas. I sent an email to the superintendent of the school district and got a very good response within an hour. He said he will meet with his operations manager and go over this. Hopefully they will switch to non-toxic weed killers such as vinegar or Avenger as I recommended. If you see any school or any government agency spraying Roundup, feel free to complain to them and ask them to use safer alternatives.
On the same note, there are no pesticides that should be used in schools. We do not need to expose our children to these toxic products. There are many incidents of children being hurt by pesticides used in and around schools. There are safe and effective alternatives for all pests and weeds and they should be used. I would recommend that all Day Care centers also refrain from using toxic pesticides in their facilities as well. Pesticides, including herbicides are nothing more than weapons of mass destruction.
If you have any pest questions you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org