Residents Request Stop the Spraying of Glyphosate in Public Parks

A group of parents, grandparents and other concerned residents of Long Beach today released a letter calling upon the Mayor and City Council to "stop the spraying of glyphosate in our public parks." Glyphosate is the major ingredient in the popular weed killer "Round-Up" and recently was banned in the City of Irvine after residents there launched "Non Toxic Irvine."

"Numerous scientific studies have linked glyphosate to cancer and other illnesses," says Gerrie Schipske, a Registered Nurse Practitioner and attorney, working with Long Beach Coalition for Non Toxic Parks and Schools. "The California Environmental Protection Agency has announced it will add glyphosate to the Proposition 65 list of known chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects. The City of Irvine has stopped using it. It is time that the City of Long Beach also stop using it and develop a policy of landscape maintenance and pest control that does not pose harm to the public and the workers who apply the chemicals."

The LB Coalition was formed after several residents witnessed City landscape maintenance contractors spray around trees, picnic areas and lakes without any notice to those using the public areas. The label on Round-Up warns that if children or pets come into contact with the herbicide, it causes eye irritation, skin rash and gastrointestinal problems.

Some of the members of what has become the LB Coalition previously asked the Parks and Recreation Commission to stop the spraying. City staff responded: "until there is a report that is issued by a credible source causing us to re-evaluate the current products that we are using to control pests in our parks, we will continue with our current methods."

"Unfortunately, until CAL EPA makes its decision final, the current label does not include a warning that this herbicide is linked to cancer," notes Schipske. "Waiting to do something in Long Beach is making our children, our elderly and our pets a science experiment."

The LB Coalition is requesting that the Mayor and City Council request the City Manager to immediately stop the spraying of glyphosate in public areas; release the City's Integrated Pest Management Policy for landscape maintenance functions to disclose current policies on use of chemicals; provide records indicating where and when pesticides and herbicides have been used in the City as required by State law and verify the State certification of each of those who are spraying; and hold a public meeting to discuss this issue.

A letter has also been sent to the City of Long Beach Public Health Officer who has jurisdiction over public health issues.

A member of the LB Coalition for Non Toxic Parks and Schools has contacted the Superintendent of LBUSD who assured that member that the spraying would be stopped and that policy will be reflected in a revision of the LBSUD's Integrated Pest Management Policy.

NB: Letter attached by link:




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