The LA County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a motion by Supervisor Kathryn Barger to stop county departments from using an herbicide containing a chemical believed to cause cancer while a study is conducted and viable alternatives are explored.
The motion comes on the heels of a report in the Pasadena Weekly that stated county workers in Pasadena were spraying Roundup, an herbicide containing glyphosate, which the World Health Organization in 2015 found “probably causes cancer.”
Under Barger’s motion, the spraying would stop while a full investigation is conducted by the Department of Public Works in conjunction with the county departments of Public Health, Parks and Recreation, and Beaches and Harbors, and the Agriculture Commission.
“I am asking county departments to stop the use of this herbicide until public health and environmental professionals can determine if it’s safe for further use in LA County and explore alternative methods for vegetation management,” said Barger in a prepared statement.
A report is expected to be issued to the supervisors within 30 days.
The herbicide is being used to kill vegetation growing near a heliport in Northeast Pasadena, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works (DPW) told the Pasadena Weekly two weeks ago after one resident living nearby complained about the spraying.
Pasadena city officials stopped using Roundup in 2018, according to City Manager Steve Mermell.
All told, there are local and state government glyphosate restrictions or bans in place in 13 states. Other California cities to take action on use of the herbicide include: Los Angeles, Burbank, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Thousand Oaks, Irvine and Richmond.
In August, a state civil court jury found that Roundup was responsible for a school groundskeeper’s terminal cancer. Dewayne Johnson was spraying the chemical 20 to 30 times a year while working at a school district near San Francisco. According to CNN, more than 800 other people are suing Monsanto, makers of Roundup, claiming the herbicide gave them cancer.
A jury in Northern California on Tuesday found Roundup probably caused cancer in relation to a second civil federal case.
“The damage has already been done to the neighborhood where my family and I have lived since 1994,” said former Mayor Bill Paparian. “Nevertheless, I applaud Supervisor Barger’s efforts.”