Weed spray safe, says City

Stirling Times - - Mid-Year Adjustment -

THE City of Stir­ling says a weed killer sprayed at Scar­bor­ough parks re­cently is safe, de­spite res­i­dents’ con­cerns.

Some were alarmed af­ter a so­cial me­dia post in a lo­cal res­i­dents’ group on Fri­day ad­vised Chipco Spear­head had been sprayed at But­lers Re­serve and Ab­bett Park that morn­ing.

One res­i­dent said she did not see signs ad­vis­ing of the spray­ing un­til af­ter walk­ing around and throw­ing the ball for her dog, while Alicia Cham­bers be­lieved peo­ple should be able to make a choice whether to en­ter a re­cently sprayed park or not.

“I un­der­stand that the coun­cil has to main­tain our parks for the ben­e­fit and en­joy­ment of the com­mu­nity,” she said.

“How­ever in or­der to give res­i­dents and park-go­ers a choice as to whether they want to ex­pose them­selves, their chil­dren and their pets to a po­ten­tially toxic pes­ti­cide, bet­ter sig­nage is re­quired af­ter the parks are sprayed.

“Be­ing preg­nant es­pe­cially, I was very con­cerned to hear about the parks be­ing sprayed and lack of sig­nage.”

Ac­cord­ing to the City, which fol­lows WA Health Depart­ment guide­lines, the sprayed area is safe to use once the her­bi­cide is dry. But safety in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by the her­bi­cide man­u­fac­turer ad­vises that “hand weed­ing and trans­plant­ing should not be per­formed be­fore two weeks af­ter spray ap­pli­ca­tion” un­less work­ers wear safety cloth­ing and gloves, and “con­tam­i­nated cloth­ing” should be washed.

Parks and sus­tain­abil­ity man­ager Ian Hunter said the City took ap­pro­pri­ate pre­cau­tions when us­ing her­bi­cides.

“Signs were placed at all ma­jor en­trances to the re­serve and park and the City had spot­ters on hand to fore­warn res­i­dents or passers-by,” he said. “As stip­u­lated by the WA Health Depart­ment, once the her­bi­cide is dry on the leaf, the area is safe to use.”

A Health Depart­ment spokes­woman said the safety in­for­ma­tion was stan­dard ad­vice.

“The safety mes­sages are in­tended to make peo­ple aware that the small el­e­ment of risk can be fur­ther re­duced by us­ing good hy­giene prac­tices when han­dling pes­ti­cides and plants treated with pes­ti­cides,” she said.

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