STOCKTON (CBS13) — It’s on the state’s list of cancer-causing chemicals, yet glyphosate is still being used to kill weeds along the Sacramento, San Joaquin Delta.
The chemical is found in the product Roundup which the state uses to control water hyacinth. The plant causes a strong odor and can sometimes clog the marina’s channel head.
Last week, the California Department of Boating and Waterways sprayed along the marina, a procedure that some people want to be warned about so they don’t breathe in the chemicals being used.
Kathleen Gapusan rides her boat up and down the Delta. She is familiar with all the spraying taking place along the water just to keep the weeds away.
“I got mad at first, when they first started spaying I think it was last year or the year before, but we have to have something aggressive and we have to have something fast and that seems to work the best and we’ve been able to contain the hyacinth,” said Kathleen Gapusan, who lives in Stockton.
Since the state of California began using Roundup, Gapusan has noticed the Delta is a lot cleaner. The only problem is the ingredient found in Roundup is on the state’s list of cancer-causing chemicals.
“Well, obviously people are concerned about the health of the water and the fish and all the organisms that live in the water, and whether or not this Roundup will adversely affect them as well as if its air, if it’s in the air and it vaporizes what can it possibly do to us,” said Stockton City Councilwoman Christina Fugazi.
There are hundreds of lawsuits across the country focused on the herbicide. One of those lawsuits involves a groundskeeper who believes he developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma using the weed killer.
Owners of the product insist it’s safe.
“I know the hyacinth causes a lot of problems and we have to figure out ways of irradiating it, spraying is the easiest way, but it comes with risks,” she said.
This is what hyacinth looks like after its sprayed. It changes color and even creates a very bad smell. As far as the cancer-causing chemical used to kill the weed, people are still using the product at their own risk.
“Roundup is everywhere and it’s at Orchard Supply and Home Depot, it’s everywhere. It’s big time, everyone has weeds and everyone uses it…it causes cancer, it’s on the news, but yet I bought it,” said Russ Romero, who lives in Stockton
Fugazi says she is sure the state is taking all the precautions in order to prevent anybody or anything from getting sick.