Are there hid­den pes­ti­cide dan­gers?

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

IN April we have again seen lo­cal pave­ments be­ing sprayed with a pes­ti­cide.

The au­thor­i­ties told me the name of the blue weed-killer which Hilling­don coun­cil sprays lo­cally. It is a glyphospate.

The In­ter­na­tional Agency for Re­search on Can­cer, which is part of the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion, has iden­ti­fied this chem­i­cal as a ‘prob­a­ble car­cino­gen’ (can­cer­causer.)

I don’t think it should be sprayed when peo­ple are walk­ing past within a few feet of the sprayers.

I’m also con­cerned about the health of the men do­ing the spray­ing, as they weren’t wear­ing masks or pro­tec­tive suits. The coun­cil are this time us­ing men sit­ting on mo­torised pave­ment bug­gies to do the spray­ing.

In our road, this was sprayed along the mid­dle of the pave­ment and com­pletely missed its tar­get of any green­ery by the side of the pave­ment.

It’s easy to see where its been sprayed as it leaves a blue trail. In the past, we were as­sured that many things were safe, which turned out not to be.

For in­stance, un­til the 1990s a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of peo­ple de­vel­oped leukaemia af­ter the tim­bers in­side their house were treated with a can­cer-caus­ing pes­ti­cide (Lin­dane) and as­bestos was once said to be safe.

This chem­i­cal is now se­verely re­stricted in de­vel­oped coun­tries, yet there were as­sur­ances that it was safe.

At the very least, in­for­ma­tion should be given out on when and where the weed-killer spray­ing of pave­ments will take place, so that peo­ple can take avoid­ing ac­tion if they are con­cerned.

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