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I am getting ready for "weed season" and I am wondering about using a product like Roundup®

Answer

I am getting ready for Most definitely stay away from Roundup®. The active ingredient in Roundup® is a chemical compound called glyphosate. Glyphosate has been linked to birth defects, reproductive disorders, miscarriages and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of cancer. Just a month ago, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that there is sufficient evidence that glyphosate probably causes cancer in humans. Roundup® has also been found to be lethal to aquatic life.

In addition to the active ingredients, Roundup® also contains "inactive" ingredients, and research suggests that one of these, polyethoxylated tallowamine, (POEA), is not safe for humans or other animals and has caused higher instances of miscarriages. Laboratory research on cows, mice and rats has shown detrimental effects including kidney and liver damage. Reports abound of pets that abruptly died after exposure to Roundup® treated properties. The EPA is conducting a review of Roundup® this year to determine if the herbicide should be taken off the market. Roundup® is now off the shelves in much of Canada and France; it is illegal to sell or apply it for cosmetic lawn care in Ontario. It has been banned in parts of Argentina, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Brazil and in areas of the United States such as Cape Cod where citizens are strongly objecting to utility company use of Round-up type herbicides.

Rather than using Roundup, there are several completely safe alternatives for weed killers. However, like Roundup®, they are all broad-spectrum and kill most everything they touch, so you must be careful where you spray. Vinegar, citric acid or clove oil are safe "natural" herbicides that kill weeds. At Sprigs & Twigs, we have used a product called Avenger® Weed Killer for a number of years. Avenger® Weed Killer has been classified organic by USDA, under its National Organic Program. It is completely benign to the environment with no toxicity to wildlife, humans or groundwater. Avenger® Weed Killer smells like oranges and it's all natural, safe and it kills weeds quickly. The active ingredient in Avenger® Weed Killer is derived from citrus oil which naturally strips away the waxy plant cuticle, causing it to dehydrate and die. If you would like to try it, we sell a 24 oz. ready-to-use spray bottle for $11.95 + tax at our Gales Ferry location, 41 Kings Highway, Suite 207. Other sizes, including a concentrated formula, are also available.

No matter what alternative to Roundup® you use, Roundup® has no place in our stores, our yards or in our environment.

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About Linda Lillie

Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.

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