Herbicide may be cancer risk to council workers and the public

Herbicide may be cancer risk to council workers and the public

COUNCIL workers using a potentially cancer-causing herbicide to kill weeds in grassy areas may be putting both themselves and the public at risk, according to a local councillor.

Workers’ Party representative Ted Tynan has submitted a motion about the issue to Cork City Council tonight asking the authority to stop using the Roundup weed killer.

He also asks that the body calls on the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct research on the contents of this product.

He said: “It has been banned in Germany and France looks likely to ban it as well very shortly.” 

Cllr Tynan also cited ongoing court cases in the US where farm workers have taken personal injury claims against Roundup manufacturers for allegedly causing them to develop cancer.

The litigation followed the World Health Organisation’s declaration in 2015 that the main ingredient in Roundup – glyphosate – was “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and the world’s most widely used herbicide, was said to “probably” cause cancer by the World Health Organisation’s cancer agency in 2015 in a paper in the journal Lancet Oncology.

“People walk around greens with their dogs and things like that and children play in the green areas… the spray is put down and maybe an hour or two later the children are playing in the green. We worry about the dangers of dog fouling in areas, and children coming into contact with dog foul which can also be dangerous, but nobody is worrying about this and they really should," Cllr Tynan added. 

Apart from the potential risk to people, Cllr Tynan highlighted that the environment is also being impacted upon.

"Spraying Roundup should be investigated. At the very least it would put people’s mind at rest. If it is safe to use, well and good, and if it’s not it should be discontinued," he added. 

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