Was speaking to a friend who works for a large property owner recently and she said her company uses the chemical Roundup in lieu of weed whackers to handle de-weeding efforts or as a herbicide along their lengths of fence rows, which are pretty substantial. This lady seemed confident that Roundup was an established and safe solution to unsightly weeds growing along fence rows.
Roundup is a herbicide that is popular in the American agriculture and residential yardcare panorama. But Roundup has been shown to have some negative affects on water borne wildlife and even human beings with extended exposure.
Here's a rather concerning report by a small municipality on the dangers of using Roundup
Roundup® is touted as a safe, environmentally friendly and easy to use herbicide. It’s also denounced as a toxic, hazardous chemical. Which is right? Are there any alternatives to using Roundup?
Roundup® is a broad-spectrum herbicide, meaning that it has negative effects on nearly every plant with which it comes in contact. It is used for spot treatment of gardens, lawns, paved areas, and some agricultural crops. Although it is toxic, the active chemical, glyphosate, binds with soil. This means that glyphosate that comes in contact with the ground will not run off into water systems and becomes inactive. The substance also appears to be mostly nontoxic for mammals, including people, who eat food which was near plants treated with Roundup.
However, when glyphosate reaches rivers and streams, it is very toxic to aquatic life. Glyphoste can travel to waterways if it falls on asphalt or blows away on the wind. In addition, glyphosate is not the only chemical in Roundup®, simply the only one considered “active” by the EPA. The EPA only requires herbicide manufacturers to provide proof that the “active” ingredients are safe for the environment, not “inactive” or “other” ingredients. Herbicide manufacturers are not even required to list non-“active” ingredients on their packaging.
Polyethoxylated amine (also referred to as POEA or polyethoxylated tallowamine) is a surfactant, a chemical used to transport glyphosate from the leaves of a plant to the roots in Roundup®. POEA has been shown to be significantly more toxic to aquatic life—including algae, frogs, shrimp, and fish—than glyphosate. POEA is not trapped by soil like glyphosate and stays in the environment longer before degrading, creating an environmental hazard. In addition, recent studies indicate that the POEA in Roundup® may be toxic to human embryos.
courtesy of Green City Blue Lake
Is there a safe alternative to Roundup?