Parks and playgrounds are for having fun in, aren’t they?
They should be safe, happy places that don’t make you sick.
But in their efforts to control weeds in parks and around our streets, most local authorities are using a substance that is probably carcinogenic.
Glyphosate is a compound common in many brands of weed killer, most famously in Roundup. You may have it on your shelf at home.
Last year, the World Health Organisation classified it as “probably carcinogenic” to humans, yet it’s still legal to use it on your garden or your lawn, and in public spaces like parks.
Here are some things you should know about glyphosate and its effect on people and the environment:
- Studies have shown that glyphosate causes damage to cells and genes that can lead to cancer
- If it enters waterways, glyphosate harms fish and other aquatic animals
- Recent research showed that common herbicides such as glyphosate can cause antibiotic resistance
- Glyphosate negatively affects the natural behaviour of bees, causing them to forget where their hives are
- Glyphosate is often combined in weed killers with other active ingredients that also harm animals and people
- Glyphosate leaches into groundwater
- We don’t know if there is a safe level of glyphosate, as it has never been assessed by regulators at sub-lethal levels