A Southland congressman Monday urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to stop using Roundup weed killer and its active ingredient glyphosate in the Los Angeles River over concerns that it could be harmful to people’s health.

“Over the past year I have heard from numerous constituents and community organizations with concerns over public safety given the USACE’s use of glyphosate in the Los Angeles River,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, wrote in a letter to the agency.

“Local and state agencies have also seen the potential risks from human exposure to this chemical and have limited or banned its use,” he wrote. “I once again urge the USACE to end its use of products containing glyphosate as part of the LAR vegetation management plan in favor of safe alternatives. Should the USACE not do so, I intend to consider legislative remedies to protect the health of our Los Angeles community.”

The use of glyphosate to control vegetation has become controversial over the last few years. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined that the chemical is not carcinogenic, but the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a division of the United Nation’s World Health Organization, in a 2015 report called it a likely carcinogen and the State of California last July added glyphosate to the Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.

Last October, the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department announced that it would stop using Roundup within 100 feet of children’s play areas, recreation centers and dog parks after Councilman Mike Bonin introduced a motion asking the department to look into using alternatives to Roundup and cited the IARC study as a reason.

–City News Service

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