Herbicides are a common treatment used to eliminate weeds and other unwanted plants. There are many well-known herbicides such as Paraquat and Roundup, which many individuals use regularly to keep their lawns and gardens weed-free. They are also frequently used on produce by large corporations.
There is a wide range of known side effects that herbicides can have if used irresponsibly. It is important to know how these substances may be affecting you and what to do if you are experiencing the harsh side effects due to the misuse of herbicides.
How Herbicides Become Harmful
It is good to note that not every herbicide is harmful. However, those that are labeled as such should be handled with care. Long term exposure to them can cause toxins to build up in the body and this is where they do become dangerous.
For many years there’s been research regarding herbicides used on both industrial scales and in-home gardens. Glyphosate has been a much-debated topic but a large portion of the research point towards it being harmful. This ingredient is base for many herbicides. Farmers are more at risk than anyone else to adverse effects but even those using it at home may suffer.
In fact, herbicides can potentially increase the risks of birth defects. A study by Earth Open Source has concluded that glyphosate caused defects in the embryos of lab animals. They also reported that the herbicide industry back in 1993 learned that wildlife was being affected by exposure to herbicides such as rabbits being born with heart problems.
For defects in humans, the results are less clear with some sources stating exposure can affect newborns and cause premature birth while others say there isn’t enough evidence of it.
There is more evidence for herbicides being linked to cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer announced that glyphosate is potentially carcinogenic to humans with a particular link between non-Hodgkin lymphoma and glyphosate. In fact, there is a recent class action lawsuit underway in the United States against Monsanto, the herbicide company that produces Roundup, on the grounds that exposure has caused non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Proactive Steps to Take in Avoiding Herbicide Use
In order to reduce the risks of you or someone you know being harmed here are some steps up can take:
- Stop Purchasing – the easiest way to avoid the substances is literally to stop using them entirely. This won’t only mean you aren’t exposed to the harmful chemicals but also you are no longer supporting the companies who produce them.
- Sign Petitions – if there are local activist groups or movements who want to stop the use of these substances, get involved. There are plenty of groups out there who will take both local and potentially online support. A recent movement is March Against Monsanto who are worth looking into.
- Stay Informed – if you are really worried about how exposed you are to herbicides, do your research. Call your local politicians or find out what products are used on by your local farms, so you know exactly what you are exposed to.
- Class Action Lawsuit – if the worst happens and you believe you may have developed cancer from exposure, it may be worth your while to see if you qualify to join the class action lawsuit in the USA.
Natural Remedies – in line with removing the chemical from your life, try some homemade things in order to remove the weed from your garden. Have a look online and you’ll find plenty of recipes for home brewed weed killers.