Spraying toxic chemicals on trails unnecessarily

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1GearOnly
Member
#

The purpose of this post is awareness and hopefully prevention of future unnecessary spraying…

Specific example, on the North Shore between the Casino and Newport Marina, there is a short stretch with a fence on both sides and plenty of space between the trail and the fence. Over to course of this wet summer the Japanese Knotweed and other greens become lush, and by August things start to become overgrown. So approximately 3 weeks ago somebody did a good deed and cut back all the overgrowth. That in itself is beneficial and harmless, that is all that needed to be done, because with Autumn only a few weeks away and things drying up the growing season is over, so there will be no need to cut it back again until next year.

The problem is, they also decided to spray toxic chemicals on everything and kill everything. It not only kills the weeds, it kills every living thing including microorganisms and becomes a brown dead zone. That is totally unnecessary and destructive. Not only does it kill all the greens and insects, it disrupts the ecosystem in the area where the animals forrage along that fence, and its extremely toxic to humans. Zero benefit and total destruction, sad.

For those who are unaware of the dangers of these so-called safe neurotoxins I recommend this article…

http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/is-roundup-weed-killer-glyphosate-affecting-your-health

Was it the City of Pittsburgh? Owners of the property? Friends of the Riverfront volunteer’s?

Hopefully next year they will reconsider their approach.


greg h
Member
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The ecosystem is already disrupted by the existence of Japanese Knotweed.  Use of herbicides as the only effective method of controlling this plant.

 

https://extension.psu.edu/japanese-and-giant-knotweed

 

 

  • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  greg h.

jonawebb
Participant
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The problem is, they also decided to spray toxic chemicals on everything and kill everything. It not only kills the weeds, it kills every living thing including microorganisms and becomes a brown dead zone. That is totally unnecessary and destructive. Not only does it kill all the greens and insects, it disrupts the ecosystem in the area where the animals forrage along that fence, and its extremely toxic to humans. Zero benefit and total destruction, sad.

All of this is untrue. Glyphosate doesn’t create a permanent dead zone. It kills fast-growing plants, and the effect is short-lived, on plants that absorb it through their leaves. It doesn’t kill insects or microorganisms. It’s just completely wrong.

The one thing not mentioned, which is true, is that glyphosate is a suspected carcinogen. So be careful using it.


Eric
Member
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Earlier this year outside of the apartments (Morgan on the north shore?) that are just upstream of the 9th street bridge the city sprayed a whole bunch of Japanese Knotweed and I’m happy to report that they don’t seem to have come back. So that’s a positive.


zzwergel
Member
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Make sure to wash the poison off of your hands after application. Boiling water can be used to kill weeds as well.

Btw, will boiling water kill Japanese knotweed?


1GearOnly
Member
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<“The ecosystem is already disrupted by the existence of Japanese Knotweed. Use of herbicides as the only effective method of controlling this plant.”>

Knotweed is everywhere, evasive plants are everywhere, not going to win that battle, only maintain it, spraying toxic chemicals unnecessarily is foolish.

<“All of this is untrue. Glyphosate doesn’t create a permanent dead zone. It kills fast-growing plants, and the effect is short-lived, on plants that absorb it through their leaves. It doesn’t kill insects or microorganisms. It’s just completely wrong. The one thing not mentioned, which is true, is that glyphosate is a suspected carcinogen. So be careful using it.”>

Not all untrue… I never said permanent… Carcinogen IS mentioned… There is lots of factual data with evidence to back it up. All I can say is do more research or continue to spray away, my job is done.


Eric
Member
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I’m all for research on chemicals we use and I’m not a toady for chemical companies, heck, I subscribed to mother Jones and the nation for over a decade in the 1990s in HS and college. But since I have a terminal degree in a scientific field, I cringe when I see sources such as holistichelp.net and even more when I read the sources at the bottom of the article you included.

Somewhere in the literature I’m sure there’s a nice review paper on these herbacides not paid for by a large company or perhaps a meta analysis looking at harms associated with the sprays. Your link wasn’t it.


1GearOnly
Member
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That was first article I grabbed, obviously there are hundreds going back decades, if what you say is true then you should already be aware of that. Its like people claiming statins are safe when the data shows they are 3% effective and very detrimental. <shoulder shrug> Have a nice holiday weekend.


paulheckbert
Moderator
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About knotweed: it’s non-native to the US. In Japan there are flies (psyllids) that feed on the knotweed and help keep it in check, and other natural competitors/parasites have evolved there that make it non-invasive, but in the US, those natural controls are not present, and knotweed often becomes invasive (grows almost out of control, displacing native species).

Knotweed propagates primarily through its rhizomes (roots) which live for many years (decades?). Even if you cut knotweed or bring a goat to eat the stalk and leaves of the knotweed, it will typically regrow  from the rhizomes. Peak growth rate is 8 inches in height per day! Propagation from seeds also happens, but is less common and its sprouts grow much more slowly.

Several ways to kill knotweed that I know of:

  • cut the stalks regularly (once a month or so, April-Oct.) for about 3 years – this will use up all the energy in the rhizomes, sprouts will get weaker and weaker until they get out-competed [I’ve done this].
  • spray with glyphosate or other herbicide late in the season so that it will get absorbed down into the rhizomes as the plant attempts to store energy over the Winter. The goal is to kill not just the above-ground plant, but the rhizomes also. [I’ve heard this sometimes must be repeated for several years.]
  • dig up all rhizomes and destroy them.
  • hot lava?

It helps to plant something else that will compete with the small knotweed shoots. But if you’re going to be cutting/spraying/digging the knotweed again, it’s difficult to avoiding hurting the desirable plant.

Whether you try cutting, spraying, or digging, usually you don’t kill off the rhizomes entirely, so in practice it’s like mowing a lawn: you cut the knotweed back, it regrows, you cut again, and repeat forever.


jonawebb
Participant
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Btw there’s a project to introduce psyllids into this country. They’ve been testing them for years, making sure they don’t interfere with other plants, and can thrive here. It’s been going on for years, led by Fritzi Grevstad. You can Google it. Has been waiting approval for years.


jonawebb
Participant
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More on the psyllid: it is currently in the approval process at USDA-APHIS. The last step on their website lists 4/27/2018 as the date of Field and Wildlife Service concurrence. After that, nothing. Other websites suggest release in 2018, but that’s obviously past.


zzwergel
Member
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Also, wasn’t glyphosate originally created by evil Monsanto?


clengman
Member
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This is the best summary I’ve found of the existing data. It’s not sponsored by Monsanto or any anti-Monsanto group. It’s a comparison of the review methodologies used by the WHO-IARC and by the EU’s regulatory agency that arrived at contradictory assessments of the risks of glyphosate to human health.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5515989/

To summarize the summary: The IARC used a more limited epidemiological data set, they included studies of non-mammalian species, and they considered effects observed at doses much higher than anyone will every experience through regular occupational exposure. The doses where carcinogenic effects are observed in in vivo animal models are intraperitoneal (injected directly into the abdomen) doses at or near the LD50 (the dose at which 50% of animals die from acute toxicity). They evaluated the chemical as a potential “hazard.” They found that glyphosate had low, but non-zero potential for hazard. They didn’t look at actual “risk.” The best explanation of the difference between risk and hazard that I’ve read is: A hungry great white shark is a hazard. Swimming with a hungry great white shark is a risk. Looking at a hungry great white shark through the glass at an aquarium is not a risk. In their assessment of the epidemiological data, the IARC also did not consider plausibility of any connection between glyphosate and cancer.

The EU report looked at a broader set of epidemiological data, and the goal was to evaluate actual risk, so they excluded in vivo data obtained in non-mammalian animal models, and they only considered effects that were observed at doses close to what would be expected during occupational exposure. They determined that glyphosate at regular occupational exposure levels poses no risk to humans. They also considered plausibility when considering the epidemiological evidence. In other words, they looked at possible mechanisms by which glyphosate could induce tumors and they found that there was no evidence in the literature of any mechanism by which this chemical should cause cancer. There were a small minority of epidemiological studies considered in their report that found small but positive correlations between occupational glyphosate exposure and cancer. BUT, since the majority of the studies found no correlation, and because they found no evidence of plausible mechanisms of action that would cause cancer, they determined that in the small number of studies that DID find small correlations, those correlations were more likely due to random chance than to an actual cause-effect relationship.

  • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  clengman.

1GearOnly
Member
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Amazing… and I could post dozens of sources and studies that show the opposite, but its not my job or desire to convince you, only bring awareness, you’ll just have to accept that reality someday in the future when it can no longer be avoided. But hey, you know how it goes, move along, nothing to see here, might as well put it on your food or in your honey (oops, too late, they already did that for you). Its laughable and sad to read a defense of the use of such a product on a bike trail when there is knotweed as far as the eye can see, the dangers have been well known for at least 15 years, and as Paul pointed out as I did in my original post its a futile effort. So to kill all those living things and potentially poison any passing animal/child unnecessarily with zero benefit lacks basic common sense. Maybe the ignorant human is the invasive species in this case.


Kolo Jezdec
Member
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I find the OP comment interesting.  He/she is riding on a paved path, whose construction no doubt killed an untold number of micro-organisms and greens, to say nothing of the toxic chemicals put in the air by the machinery and paving materials.  And as with all construction, some animal habitat is certainly destroyed. The OP is likely riding a bike which was constructed via the use of chemicals and machining processes of some sort (manufacturing the tires is not exactly a ‘green’ process).   The bike was probably delivered via a truck  on a highway.   I bet the highway used to be green.  The OP could even live in a building where the land was once forest, and work in a building that was once a haven for wildlife.  I could go on, but why?  To use the OPs  terms, they already built the bike path, so do not worry about its effect on the organisms that were once here.  If the human is the invasive species, doesn’t that include you?

I think many posters here have presented information on both sides of the issue.  They do not strike me as any more ignorant than the OP.    You want to fight the use of herbicides, go for it.  But don’t pretend that your use of the facilities and materials that allow you to travel via cycle have no effect on our environment.   All living things on this planet affect the environment, you, me, her, him, that squirrel I see out my back window eating my tomatoes, those native Americans that destroyed the forests of Eastern Kentucky,…

Fight the fight, but don’t call people who have other perspectives ignorant.


1GearOnly
Member
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Your logic is flawed, the one-time created bike path or any other construction project is not the subject, the subject is the specific repetitive unseen neurotoxin being sprayed on the bike trail unnecessarily that is harmful to many with zero benefit. How would you feel if your wife and child were walking that section of trail shortly after being sprayed, decide to pickup shiny rocks or some other interesting object reveled after the brush was cleared, resulting in exposing them through eyes, mouth, etc. What about all the wildlife or pets that eat/sniff/paws along that stretch. The point is… there is no benefit to spaying that stuff, yet you’re putting many at risk, so why do it or defend it. There isn’t anything else I can say without repeating myself.


clengman
Member
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If you want to talk flaws in logic let’s start here:

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question


Benzo
Participant
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This could have all been avoided if we just… Ummm… GOATS!

 


Marko82
Participant
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One way to decrease the need to use pesticides along trails is to VOLUNTEER to help maintain them.  There are many people on this message board (and this thread!) who regularly spend many hours of their time to manually cut down weeds and grass, most times without even being asked.  So lets quit putting my study up agains your study and DO something that we all agree needs done – go out and cut down some weeds!

 

 


zzwergel
Member
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I did see someone pulling weeds on the Butler St. sidewalk near One Wild Pl. last week.

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