If your electric company contacts you about maintaining their right-of-way, the following information is very valuable.
Last summer I got a letter from my electric cooperative, Southside Electric Cooperative. Instead of brush-hogging, it seems that they have contracted to have a company called NaturChem apply herbicides to the right-of-way.
I do not use any chemicals or pesticides around my yard or in my home. Even though it is Southside Electric’s right-of-way, I felt that I should have a say in what they do to my property. I called the number in the letter and spoke with a representative.
He explained that they are spraying 3 herbicides: Round-Up (Glyphosate), Imazapyr and a chemical called 2-4-D (Atrazine). I stated that I am well informed about 2-4-D and this it is found in 90% of the tested groundwater in the United States. Round-Up isn’t far behind because of overuse by homeowners and in agricultural applications. Imazapyr, is used as a pre and post-emergent for weeds and aquatic plants.
Most people do not know how dangerous herbicides are. They spray Round-Up with wild abandon all over their properties. 2-4-D is in most weed and feed preparations for lawns. The average citizen is totally oblivious to the effects of these chemicals. Bottom line: they are poison!
Round-Up is known to kill embryos, placental and umbilical cord cells. It is an endocrine (hormone) disruptor. It is shown to increase instances of cancer. Cardiovascular & respiratory damage are associated with its use. There is an increased chance of myeloma (bone cancer) and the inert chemicals in it – which are NOT harmless, by the way – intensify its toxicity.
Imazapyr, although according to the EPA, is ‘below the agency’s concern, still has an ecological impact for aquatic vascular plants, non-treated areas and contamination by spray drift. It is listed as being ‘persistent or mobile in soil.’ From the EPA Prevention, Pesticides & Toxic Substances (7508C) literature: ‘Field dissipation study observations are consistent with Imazapyr’s intrinsic ability to persist in soils and move via runoff to surface water and to leach to groundwater.’
2-4-D or Atrazine is in popular Weed & Feed, Weed B Gon, Turfbuilder products. It was developed for chemical warfare in WWII and used in Viet Nam as part of a solution in Agent Orange as a defoliant. It is a known carcinogen: Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and possible soft tissue sarcomas (cancer) are indicated, as are increased rates of lung cancer. Respiratory and circulatory birth defects have been linked to it.
I checked on the NaturChem’s website. It frightened me. NatureChem and other companies like this all over the United States and the world are “managing vegetation” by spraying millions of gallons of toxic chemicals. Roadsides, right-of-ways, rail yards, parks, golf courses, fence lines, ditches, drainage culverts, ponds, forest areas, sports fields, airports, substations, perimeter management of malls and industrial parks: the list is extensive. If you look at the pictures on the website, the “before” and “after,” then think of all the places that you’ve seen where vegetation has been sprayed, we’re being poisoned without our knowledge, much less our permission! Even if these chemicals aren’t sprayed directly on our property these chemicals are getting into the groundwater. This is the water we drink, bathe in and use every day. It is any wonder why cancer rates are so high?
If you want to read some good propaganda on 2-4-D, go to: http://24d.org/faqs/default.aspx