I'm hoping someone on here has some good information that I can use to provide to my Home Owner's Association and Landscape company that the community uses on Roundup and some other chemical.
I noticed a few weeks ago on our trails and in the common areas that something was being sprayed. I inquired but never saw an answer. Today I saw an announcement in our newsletter about "Controlling those Pesky Weeds". I'll type up what it says. I'd like to create a response. What they don't realize is that they are spraying this stuff and I get hundreds of gallons of runoff and groundwater entering my 1/5 acre lot that is loaded with roundup and any other toxins they use. I was told by a microbiologist that Roundup doesn't break down like they said.
Here is what is written:
"Park West uses chemicals to control the weeds throughout the community. One of the chemicals that is used is a contact weed spray called Roundup which contains and active ingredient of Glyphosate. A blue dye is used to indicate where Roundup is applied & has no residual effect once it dried. Glyphosate does not bioaccumulate in animals and will break down variable quickly. Park West also uses a pre-emergent to control weed seed germination in shrub and groundcover areas called Anderson's Dimension. The active ingredient in this chemical is Dithiopyr. It is applied once or twice a year in random areas where excessive weeds exist. Studies have shown that this product is very low on the toxicity scale and when used under the direction of hte label this product is safe and non-toxic to humans and animals."
Please, anyone with good information can you help me compose a response. I want to get this stuff out of my community. If I have a bit of information from someone knowledgeable I can share it with other friends who don't want the chemicals and stop them from using it.
Also, can you recommend what they can do instead ? Use Vinegar? Something else?
Thanks in advance for you help.
posted 5 years ago
Ok, after reading a few more posts in this forum "organic" I realize that Paul might pull off this post. But if it doesn't belong here can you tell me where to post it to get help. I don't know enough to educate my community and Home Owners Association Board of directors or the Landscape company.
Maybe John Elliot will respond since he is a chemist and seems to know a lot about chemicals breaking down.
I suspect that what they wrote in the newsletter isn't true about it not being harmful.
You are looking for a solution instead of just bashing, so that is a big positive.
I am not opposed to glyphosate, just the current uses. As it was originally used with paintbrush precision, it did its job on that ONE plant and was less than a drop of chemical used. But the current practice of a fast wide spray pattern gives a dead circle so that one weed died but so did all the grass around it so a different pioneering WEED takes over and they have to spray the same spot next year. Vicious cycle.
They are much better off to correct the soil problem so the desired plants are the advantaged ones. It is hard to get people to get do things the slow and laborious way now so I don't have to do as much next year.
If your property takes much of the runoff, there may be a farm or waterways law on your side, but that is an expensive and ugly fight and you are better just moving.
"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi.
"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
This is the first I've heard of dithiopyr. Looks like a nasty molecule, with two teflon Mickey Mouse ears. Those difluoro and trifluoro groups on it are pretty permanent, since they are going to be resistant to breakdown by fungal peroxidases. However, fungi should be able to chew up the rest of the molecule. Also, it may be low on the toxicity scale to humans and animals, but I would venture to guess that it hasn't been tested to see what sort of derangement it causes to the nematodes, insects, collembolans, arthropods, and other soil life.
I'll go with my standard advice on how to get rid of unwanted chemical contamination: healthy active mycelial cultures. To take care of the runoff problem, I would suggest mulching the perimeter of your property heavily, say 4"-6" of something like pine bark nuggets. Bark nuggets are better than wood chips or cypress mulch since bark has a lot of lignin in it. It will provide lots of nutrients to support white-rot fungus, which are very proficient at degrading lignin and in the process chew up a lot of other organic molecules. Water your mulch in the evening, you want to encourage lots of fungal growth, and any mushrooms you come across in your daily travels, collect them up and toss them in the mulch.
I don't have good suggestions on how to get through to people who have thoroughly internalized the advertising slogan "better living through chemistry". You know that we chemists give a chuckle of black humor at that phrase, especially if we are working with some pyrophoric, corrosive, highly toxic, or otherwise nasty compound. "Better living through chemistry" also means knowing when it would be better to leave the chemical in the bottle.
Well, that didn't take long. Here's a reference on cytotoxicity of dithiopyr in tilapia.
This study has demonstrated that Thiobencarb and Dithiopyr have a drastic cytotoxic effects on Nile tilapia as manifested through the recorded histopathological and biochemical alterations and DNA damage.
Are there any fishing holes downstream of where your Homeowners Association is applying the dithiopyr? If so, you might want to let your neighbors know that they ought not to be eating those fish. Bioaccumulation and all, you know.