There is not enough specific research to prove or disprove that Roundup is safe for home use. Roundup contains glyphosate, an herbicide that some studies have linked to increased cancer risks and other health issues. However, those studies looked at high exposure levels for certain occupations and not the occasional use of Roundup by the average homeowner or gardener.
EcoWatch, a respected environmental news source, recommends that residential gardeners use alternatives to Roundup. It argues that safer alternatives exist for home use without taking on unnecessary risk.
Lawsuits Tell a Different Story Than Roundup’s Maker
Plaintiffs have filed lawsuits against Roundup, claiming that repeated exposure to the herbicide caused them to develop cancer. Monsanto, the original maker of Roundup, and Bayer AG, the German company that bought Monsanto in 2018, claim that their product does not cause cancer.
However, juries who heard testimony from scientists and Roundup users clearly do not believe the companies’ claims. Bayer AG has already lost several times in court and faces 42,700 additional lawsuits.
In late June, Forbes reported that Bayer agreed to pay more than $10 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits, but this agreement still leaves many lawsuits unresolved.
Millions of Dollars in Damages Awarded to Plaintiffs
Juries ordered Bayer AG to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, including:
- $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages for a California plaintiff who alleged that his repeated use of Roundup during his job as a groundskeeper caused him to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- A California husband and wife who both claim that Roundup caused them to develop cancer received $86.7 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
In both lawsuits, the juries felt that the manufacturer did not uphold its duty of care by failing to warn users of potential health risks.
Study Finds Link Between Roundup Use and Cancer
The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen.” A research study conducted by the University of Washington showed that regular Roundup users were 41% more likely to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma than those who rarely or never used Roundup.
Although the University of Washington study focused on agricultural workers and not residential Roundup users, home gardeners might find it prudent to err on the side of caution. Many natural alternatives to Roundup exist that home gardeners can use.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 217-6099
Safer Alternatives to Roundup
Both EcoWatch and the North Carolina State Extension have recommendations on their websites for safer alternatives to Roundup. Whether Roundup is safe for home use or not, you might find it beneficial to try these natural alternatives.
Weeds cannot survive without sunlight or when subjected to high temperatures. The smothering or solarization method works by blocking sunlight and creating a hot environment that literally bakes weeds away.
Use heavy plastic or cloth covering, such as an old shower curtain or bedspread. Place the covering over the weeds and use cement blocks or other heavy objects to prevent the cover from blowing away. The weeds will turn brown and die within four to six weeks.
Hot Water or Steam
Weeds need water, but boiling water or steam destroys the plant’s tissues and causes it to wilt and die. You can rent a commercial agricultural steamer if you have a large lawn or garden. You can also boil water and pour on weeds in smaller gardens or difficult-to-reach places, such as driveway cracks.
Natural Plant Oils
Although little scientific evidence exists to support their effectiveness, some home gardeners rely on natural plant oils for weed control. You can try several drops of orange, cinnamon, or clove oil. The oil coats the leaves, which interferes with the weed’s photosynthesis cycle. Eventually, the weed dies.
Vinegar, Salt, and Liquid Soap
Another home remedy for weeds combines white vinegar, salt, and liquid dish soap. When combined, these three household staples kill weeds and may help prevent new seeds from germinating. Combine one quart of white vinegar, a quarter pound of salt, and a couple of teaspoons of non-bleach dish soap. Transfer to a spray bottle and coat the entire weed from leaf to root.
Vodka and Water
It may sound strange, but vodka (or another type of alcohol) can kill broadleaf weeds by drying them out. Combine an ounce of vodka with two cups of water and a couple drops of non-bleach dish soap, then spray onto weeds. This natural herbicide is especially effective on weeds in sunny areas because the alcohol’s drying effect becomes more pronounced.
When to Call a Lawyer
You would probably find it safer to avoid Roundup for home use. However, if you used or were exposed to Roundup and have received a cancer diagnosis, you may want to speak to a lawyer about potential compensation. You could potentially recover damages for medical bills, lost pay, mental anguish, and other losses.
Call the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 217-6099 for a free consultation.