South Tyneside: Glyphosate FAQ

Why is weed control necessary?


Weed control on amenity areas such as street pavements and footpaths is a crucial service undertaken on behalf of local government. A good quality, consistent weed control programme reduces slip and trip hazards and potential access issues, reduces the damage caused by root growth to urban surfaces and improves aesthetic appeal.




Is it safe?


Yes. Glyphosate has been subject to hundreds of clinical trials which have concluded that glyphosate is indeed safe when used under label recommendations. Many common household products have a higher acute toxicity than glyphosate, including table salt, caffeine and ibuprofen.




How soon after application can people or pets use the area?


Immediately - there is no requirement to restrict access to an area that has recently been treated with glyphosate under normal usage conditions.




Why glyphosate and not an alternative?


Glyphosate is by far the most efficient and cost-effective method for the broad-spectrum treatment of common weeds. Some alternative methods do see specific niche use, but none can approach the value and efficacy of total systemic herbicide (specificlaly glyphosate), particularly when addressing the scale of treatment required for street pavements. Moreover, alternative methods (e.g. steam) often come at the price of a significantly increased carbon footprint.




What are the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) requirements for applying glyphosate?


Whilst glyphosate products vary in terms of their chemistry, the specific PPE requirement is always detailed in the product label. For application of diluted product (as in an amenity setting) coveralls are required, however the use of engineering solutions (such as low drift nozzles) can preclude the need for gloves and further PPE.




Useful links and resources


European Food Safety Authority Information on glyphosate: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/topics/topic/glyphosate

HSE Frequently Asked Questions about Glyphosate: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pesticides/topics/using-pesticides/general/glyphosate-faqs.htm

Amenity Forum Lots of information and resources on Best Practice in the amenity sector. www.amenityforum.co.uk

Glyphosate Task Force Resource with lots of information and fact sheets on glyphosate www.glyphosate.eu

Roundup Technical Helpline: 01954 717575

Roundup Email Enquiries: technical.helpline.uk@monsanto.com

Complete Weed Control For general help regarding tender specification, complaint handling, spot spraying and general application advice. www.completeweedcontrol.co.uk




Are any qualifications required to use glyphosate professionally?


UK law requires operators hold at least NPTC PA1 and PA6 certifications to use glyphosate professionally. Training covers the safe use, storage and handling of pesticides with emphasis on techniques that minimise use and off-target drift.