The city of Lodi will no longer use the herbicide Roundup to control weeds around municipal playgrounds due to concerns about its long-term health effects.
Last year, a jury awarded $289 million to a groundskeeper who claimed Roundup caused his cancer. (The amount was later reduced by a judge to $78 million.) And the World Health Organization classified a key ingredient as a possible carcinogen.
Lodi’s Director of Parks and Recreation Jeff Hood said for those reasons, Roundup will not be used within 25 feet of the city’s 17 municipal playgrounds.
“It was just kind of an easy decision to stop using Roundup around playgrounds until we can examine a little bit further and kind of see where the science takes us in making the best decision for our community,” he said.
Hood said the weed killer is still being used in other areas including soccer and baseball fields. But only a few city workers are applying the pesticide and only while wearing protective suits and breathing apparatuses.
“We will be looking at some alternative products, more environmentally friendly products,” Hood said. “Roundup is very effective. it works very well and it’s a low-cost way to deal with unwanted weeds and grass, but ultimately we want our children to be safe.”
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