February 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 34

T H E G LY P H O S AT E D E B AT E

be " Roundup Ready. "
According to EPA, an average of
280 million pounds of glyphosate
products are applied annually in the
United States. While most GBHs
are used for agriculture, they are also
the primary herbicides for forestry,
highways, rights-of-way, commercial
and industrial areas, public parks,
and other public and private lands.
However, there are growing concerns
about toxicity, persistence in the environment and the effects on wildlife
and human health.

Health Impacts Disputed
While glyphosate systemically kills
weeds relatively quickly, it also
binds tightly to soils and can persist for months in the ground. Trace
amounts of glyphosate are found in
a variety of food products, wine, beer
and even in breast milk. According to
a U.S. Geological Survey study, glyphosate was found in 66 of 70 rivers
and streams studied, as well as in 70
percent of rainfall samples.
In 2015, the International Association for Cancer Research of the
World Health Organization issued a
finding that glyphosate is " probably
carcinogenic to humans. " Despite
the finding, there was no change of
policy or regulation in the United

States, and the use of glyphosate continues to grow annually.
Diane Lewis, physician and founder of the Great Healthy Yard Project
(tghyp.com), says there is mounting
evidence documented in medical
literature that " glyphosate exposure
is associated with increased risk of
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma. " She adds that there
also is evidence that glyphosaterelated herbicides " disrupt endocrine
reproductive hormones [that] can lead
to numerous health issues, including
the abnormal growth of breast cancer
cells that the body might have otherwise controlled without the exposure. "
Small amounts of the chemicals in
these herbicides can act cumulatively
and can have more serious side effects,
such as by acting as disruptors to hormonal systems, she says.
There is considerable dispute over
research findings produced by the industry regarding the safety of GBHs.
The actual ingredients and percentages of additional chemicals that
boost the effectiveness of glyphosate
are trade secrets. These adjuvants and
surfactants that turbocharge the killing power of glyphosate may also increase the toxicity of these herbicides
on humans, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health

PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF SEATTLE PARKS AND RECREATION

Seattle Parks and Recreation workers place
empty sacks on a hillside as a weed blocker.

32

Parks & Recreation

| F E B R U A RY 2 02 0 | W W W. PA R K S A N D R E C R E AT I O N . O R G

Sciences. One study cited showed
that Roundup was at least twice as
toxic as glyphosate alone. Most testing until now has been on glyphosate
alone, not on the full herbicide formulation of products like Roundup.

EPA Reaffirms Assessment
That Glyphosate Is Not a
Cancer Risk
According to a May 2019 EPA press
release, " EPA continues to find that
there are no risks to public health
when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label and that
glyphosate is not a carcinogen. "
However, other countries do not
consider GBHs to be as benign as the
United States does. Many already
have enacted bans or have issued
statements of intent to ban or restrict
its use. In 2017, the European Union
(EU) controversially voted to relicense glyphosate for a period of five
years. Many expect that the EU will
approve a partial or full ban when the
license expires in 2022.

Why Should Park Agencies
Be Concerned?
The vast majority of public park and
recreation agencies have used GBHs
as the preferred weed killer for landscaped areas, golf courses, roadsides,
Wood chips placed over the sacks
stabilize the hillside from erosion.



February 2020 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of February 2020 - Parks & Recreation

February 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 1
February 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 2
February 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 3
February 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 4
February 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 5
February 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 6
February 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 7
February 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 8
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