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Glyphosate and bad practice

09 August, 2019

Cartoon by John Sadler:

• IF Councillor Claudia Webbe wishes to reduce the use of glyphosate in the borough one thing she could do would be to make sure operatives use it correctly.

I spent 35 years in amenity horticulture and was competently trained to apply pesticides competently. This means working within the strictures of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations.

I have witnessed operatives in the borough not complying with these regulations. This has included:

• not wearing proper protective equipment;

• using equipment upside down; and

• spraying pesticides in a way that was certainly using more of the product than was necessary.

In one incident the method being used was so wrong I assumed that they couldn’t be applying herbicide. But a week later I realised that I was wrong, as the vegetation was dying off. If I had used that method I would have lost my job.

Cllr Webbe, the executive member for environment & transport, should look at the records of usage that Islington borough is legally required to keep to see if the amount used was the minimum required for the area covered. I doubt it.

Finally, on another health and safety note, could she make sure that operatives don’t use brush cutters on strimmers to cut vegetation growing through fence railings? That’s more bad practice I have witnessed.

Ellington Street, N7


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