Effective immediately, the town of Lodi, California, will ban the use the weed killer Roundup within 25 feet of the city’s 17 playgrounds in an effort to protect children from possible health hazards of the herbicide’s active ingredient, glyphosate.
“State law currently does not allow smoking with 25 feet of a playground, and so we felt that was a good standard, a good number to use for this first step,” said Jeff Hood, Director of the Lodi Parks, Recreation & Community Services Department.
The announcement comes six months after a California jury ordered Monsanto to pay a school groundskeeper $289 million after finding that his regular exposure to the company’s Roundup and Ranger Pro weed killers, which both contain glyphosate, caused him to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The award was later reduced to $78 million.
“It’s on people’s minds, and certainly the court case last year brought it to the forefront,” Hood told ABC10 News. “We’re just doing something we feel is prudent and out of an abundance of caution to protect – possibly protect the children of Lodi.”
In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer listed glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. In 2017, glyphosate was added to California’s Proposition 65 list of “chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.”
Since then, several California cities have limited or banned the use of Roundup and other herbicides that contain glyphosate. Some municipalities in foreign countries have also either banned or limited the use of the chemical, including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and India.
Monsanto was acquired by Bayer AG last year.
Source: ABC10 News