Parents want pesticides banned at schools after Roundup weed killer debate

Tonight at 11: 19 Investigates what you need to know about the safety of weed killers.

Parents want pesticides banned at schools after Roundup weed killer debate
The debate continues over the safety of Roundup weedkiller and its active ingredient glyphosate. (Source: CBS News)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Some local parents are pushing for change, asking schools to ban pesticides as the debate over the safety of Roundup weed killer intensifies.

A jury just ordered Bayer to pay more than $2 billion in damages to a California couple that claimed they got cancer from using the weed killer for years.

This comes two weeks after the EPA said Roundup's active ingredient, glyphosate, does not cause cancer.

But the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization calls glyphosate "probably carcinogenic."

Bayer stands by Roundup's safety, saying “Bayer firmly believes that the science supports the safety of glyphosate-based herbicides, which are some of the most thoroughly studied products of their kind."

But some people aren’t taking their chances.

“I wouldn't use it at home, I wouldn't want my school to use it,” said Lauren Gribble-O'Hara.

Her son is a kindergarten student at Montessori Children's School in Westlake.

It's pesticide-free.

“People who normally wouldn't be concerned about that are asking questions now, and I do think this is a great time for people to start making changes, especially towns that are using it and people that might want to consider alternatives,” she said.

UPDATE: Watch the full story here to find out what schools and communities are going pesticide free.

We also have more on the conflicting studies and Bayer’s response.

Pesticides explainer

The EPA says:

Pesticide active ingredients are described by the types of pests they control or how they work. People often use the term “pesticide” to refer only to insecticides, but it actually applies to all the substances used to control pests.

Well known pesticides (terms defined below) include:

insecticides,

herbicides,

rodenticides, and

fungicides.

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