Glyphosate. What’s the problem?
Noxious weeds all suffer the same fate from this rapid-uptake, systemic herbicide. The basic mode of action is to block an essential amino-acid in plants so that protein syntheses can’t occur. In a nutshell, the plant starves to death.
The LD50 of glyphosate is about 5600 mg/kg. Or about 1/2 litres of concentrated product, before it’s mixed, before it’s applied (1L = 1kg). That’s 1/2 litre per kg of body weight! If label rates are followed during mixing, the LD50 becomes atmospheric. And that’s for mice. As a comparison, table salt, coffee, and baking soda, all common household products are far more toxic.
The noxious weed you are about to wage war with….let’s call it poison ivy, can deliver a dose of skin-binding allergens in the range of micrograms.
Ok. Just so we’re on the same page, a microgram is one millionth of a gram. A SuperMax jackpot if you hit it right. Or wrong in the case of poison ivy.
But seriously, there are many different ways to apply this product. In suspension, directly, or injected.
As a cost saving measure, the most viable method is to spray leaf material, but glyphosate, being the indiscriminate killer it is, will also harm plant material that you want to protect, and even with different gas-powered and manual delivery devices with various nozzles, lets face it, overspray is going to happen.
So the next alternative is brushing. Paint brushing vines or other clinging types of growth reduces airborne particles. But that means you have to adjust the mix rate on the label to even less. So the LD50 of glyphosate has just gone beyond atmospheric pressure to the outer confines of of our solar system into the great unknown.
The next step is to actually inject glyphosate directly into the tissue so that the product doesn’t even reach human contact, animal contact, microbial contact, groundwater contact. This is a superior way of controlling giant hogweed. Living plant tissue scars fairly quickly, a good thing, because plants don’t have an immune system.
So now we’ve gone to the edge of the universe in terms of the toxicity of this lethal herbicide, because the rates for injection are off the charts in terms of toxicity to mice.
But then again, it’s RoundUp. A weed killer. Public enemy #1.
Using genetically modified plants definitely seem safer, considering most PhDs admit they have no idea what the overall impact will be….hmmm.
Posted by Glen Baumgarten, BA, CHT at 1:04 PM 0 comments
Labels: dog strangling vine, genetically modified, giant hogweed, glyphosate, kudzu vine, noxious weed control, poison sumac, posion ivy
via Horticulture Consulting.