Eight Hidden Costs to Our County from Using Chemical Herbicides like Roundup
1. Public Safety
Application of chemical weed killers, according to their label, requires restriction of access to treated areas for a number of hours. This signage poses significant operational costs... it is currently not followed by the County of Hawaii. Failure to restrict access can expose the public to ‘probable carcinogens’ as in the photo above and can lead to potential litigation.
2. Employee Exposure
All chemical weed killers are toxins. Repeated employee exposure to known toxins drives up health and safety requirements, certification and record keeping costs.
(This is particularly relevant with the recent case against Monsanto https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/oct/22/monsanto-cancer-roundup-weedkiller-judge-denies-appeal)
3. Off-target Damage
Chemical weed killers sprayed in even light breezes can result in overspraying and off-target damage to desirable vegetation and horticultural crops. Chemical weed killers often release vapors which can cause sickness in chemically-sensitive people. These off-target effects can lead potential litigation.
4. Tarnished Public Image
There is now widespread public knowledge about the hazard to human health of chemical weed killing. Chemical spraying by organizations will lead to a tarnishing of their public image and undermines their environment, safety and sustainability commitments.
5. Herbicide Resistance
Repeated applications of herbicides over many years has resulted in the evolution of many resistant species. This results in increased application rates and mixing of chemicals, which further damages surrounding ecosystems and increases costs.
6. Storm and Potable Water Contamination
Chemical weed killers translocate easily from paved surfaces, through soil profiles and can contaminate ground waters, streams, creeks and estuaries. Removing chemicals from drinking water sources creates enormous expenses.
7. Habitat, Ecosystem & Livestock Threat
Most commonly used weed killers have the potential to contaminate habitats of sensitive populations of endangered species such as frogs, bee’s and butterfly’s which are essential to healthy ecosystems. Chemical weed control that has the potential to contaminate fodder and water sources becomes a threat to livestock.
8. Soil Biology
The most commonly used weed killers are Glyphosate based. Glyphosate is a patented antibiotic and chelator which has been shown to kill soil microbes and bind nutrients. This creates additional costs in soil remediation and fertilizing.
Photo supplied by Sharon Willeford, taken in Kahalu'u, Hawaii, in October 2018.
Eight Hidden Costs from Weedtechnics.com
CALL TO ACTION: CONTACT YOUR COUNTY COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVE. SHARE THIS INFORMATION AND ASK THAT THEY VOTE FOR THE UPCOMING HERBICIDE REDUCTION BILL.