What is Glyphosate?

Glyphosate, N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine, is one of the most widely used herbicides. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in products such as Roundup, Rodeo Aquatic Herbicide, and Eraser. Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide that targets broadleaf weeds, grasses, and woody plants. It is only absorbed through green plant tissue such as leaves and stems.  Because it is not absorbed by roots it can be safely used around desirable plants. After using glyphosate you can replant in the treated area in 1 to 10 days. Usages include, but are not limited to, residential lawns and gardens, farms, roadsides, industrial areas, pastures, public parks, and aquatic systems.

Note: Glyphosate has low volatility. That means it does not produce damaging airborne vapors, making it safer for non-target vegetation.

How does Glyphosate work?

Glyphosate works by halting a specific enzyme pathway that only exists in plants and some microorganisms. This in turn prevents plants from producing certain proteins that are needed for growth. Glyphosate is absorbed through foliage and then moves to growing points within the plant. Glyphosate is only active on growing plants and is not effective as a pre-emergence herbicide. It also does not prevent seeds from germinating. Some weeds, such as yellow nutsedge, wild buckwheat, and Asiatic dayflower have become tolerant to Glyphosate and a different herbicide may need to be used in conjunction for maximum effectiveness.

How safe is Glyphosate?

Glyphosate was registered by the EPA in 1974. It has been classified by the organization as toxicity class III on a scale of I-IV, with IV being the least dangerous. Also, it has not been found to be a carcinogen. Glyphosate has low toxicity for fish and other wildlife and biodegrades in soil with a low likelihood of reaching groundwater. Always apply as directed, wearing gloves as it can irritate the skin and eyes. Do not enter sprayed areas for 4 hours.

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