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Byron Shire
January 17, 2022

Weed spraying is a health hazard

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Re: Micheal Balson’s letter on the dead platypus in Upper Wilsons Creek. I have been a professional gardener for a long time both here and in Sydney. When I was younger I worked in the nursery industry. The old guys would get the young guys to do the spraying.

‘Don’t worry’, they’d say ‘It won’t hurt you’. Meanwhile they’d be hiding outside the sealed hothouse watching you with the mask and mister walking up and down the lines getting covered with it.

Afterwards, headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations, itchy skin, hives, very low energy, vagueness, tired all the time.

Now I don’t trust any of those labels telling you it won’t hurt you. It’s quite easy to not use poisons. Just put on an extra worker or two to do it manually.

Bang off the re-growth every couple of months, eventually the tree dies. Save on the overpriced cost of poisons and keep it clean for your kids, your neighbours and yourself.

I remember one client insisted I spray Roundup  (glyphosate) around the overgrown edge of her garden. Could have been done more efficiently with a brush cutter.

Down the slope from the garden about 100 metres away through paddock and native bush was a little dam that I’d planted with water plants and introduced three species of native frogs. Happily croaking away and eating mozzie larvae.

Well, it rained a bit about two weeks after I sprayed. Not enough to flush the dam (overtop it), just filled it about half full.

Within a week every frog was dead and no tadpoles either. From 100 metres away. Then heaps of mozzies. I’d imagine platypus eat frogs as well as crabs and bugs.

None of the poisons are safe. ‘It won’t hurt you’: yeah bullshit!

G. O’Reilly, Rosebank

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  1. With the Council committed to phasing out herbicide use on public land, a toxic mix is still in wide spread use near waterways. See Council’s web-site.

    Glyphosate 360g a.i/L eg. Weedmaster Duo, Roundup, Roundup Biactive
    Metsulfuron-methyl 600g a.i/kg eg. Associate, Brush Off
    Fluroxypyr 200ga.i/L eg. Starane 200
    Triclopyr butoxyethyl ester 600g a.i/L eg. Garlon 600
    Wetters/spreaders/penetrants eg. Pulse, Agral, LI 700, Protech Plus, Diesel
    Herbidye eg. Pergasol Red, Simplot Blue
    Method of application

    Spot spraying, backpack, gas gun, cut-scrape & paint, scrape & paint, basal bark, drill, axe or other injection method, wipe on leaves


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