In Wisconsin, residents are speaking up after finding out that despite a nominal “no chemical policy,” the city continues to utilize toxic RoundUp brand weed-killer, manufactured by Monsanto. This is not an isolated incident either; municipalities across the US continue to struggle with the two conflicting needs: environmental responsibility and the dreaded scourge of weeds in public spaces. But it is not simply the environment at risk when RoundUp and other such weed killers are used. These chemicals present a clear and severe danger to all the people and animals exposed, most especially children.
One of the reasons RoundUp is so dangerous is that the chemicals it employs are not very transmittable when the product is sprayed and wet. The risks are much greater once it dries, and since it has a half-life of up to 197 days, the dangers of the dried chemicals becoming airborne, particularly on sports fields and in high-traffic areas, are significant. It seems counter-intuitive to use a weed killer in a public space that contaminates that space prohibitively for over half a year.
Understanding the risks associated with RoundUp
The risks associated with exposure to RoundUp are grave. When ingested as a liquid, problems swallowing, erosion of the gastrointestinal tract, and hemorrhage are common. Irritation to the eyes can also occur if the mist is encountered. But again, once the material dries, the dangers increase rather than decrease, particularly since repeated exposure can build up with little to no warning. Cancers, birth defects, and hormonal disruption are all possible, leading to spontaneous miscarriages and abnormal fetal development. Until recently, RoundUp was widely purported by Monsanto to be noncarcinogenic; however, studies and lawsuits in the past 5 years have demonstrated a clear connection between long term exposure to RoundUp and certain cancers, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The World Health Organization released a firm statement on the topic in March of 2015, which begs the question: what was the testing done by Monsanto in order to be able to claim noncarcinogenic status?
The Monsanto company has had its own public relations issues over the past decades, from GMO’s to a bad environmental record, as far back as its production of Agent Orange, polystyrene, DDT, PCB’s, Dioxin, rBGH (bovine growth hormone), and Aspartame. So is RoundUp weed killer the only recourse against the devastating scourge of weedy, unwanted, plant growth in public spaces? No. From glacial acetic acid to the myriad organic weed killers available over the counter, products that do not accrete in the human body or cause cancer are available. Cities across the US and countries around the world are moving on from RoundUp, and helping their citizens to heal from the health damage caused by the involved chemicals.
At McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, our defective product attorneys have the expertise to successfully handle complicated environmental tort and consumer protection cases occurring across the country. We defend clients’ right to compensation after encounters with pernicious products. If you have been injured or become ill after coming into contact with RoundUp, call 803-327-7800 or fill out our contact form.
Randy is the former President of the South Carolina Association for Justice. He has been certified by the American Board of Professional Liability as a specialist in Medical Malpractice Law which is recognized by the South Carolina Bar. Randy has also been awarded the distinction of being a “Super Lawyer” 10 times in the last decade. He has over 25 years of experience helping injured people fight back against corporations, hospitals and wrong-doers.
Read more about S. Randall Hood