QUESTION: Today while driving I saw a white truck with 性视界传媒淗erbicide性视界传媒 printed on the side of its large tank. It appeared to be spraying along curbs on North Judson Road. It性视界传媒檚 not the first time I性视界传媒檝e seen such a truck in the city. A couple of years ago I encountered a similar vehicle while running along Triple Creek Drive. It was also spraying along the curb.

This does not seem to be a healthy practice for the citizens of Longview. Yes, it undoubtedly saves money as it is less expensive to spray herbicide rather than pay workers with weed trimmers. But the toxic herbicide Paraquat has been linked to Parkinson性视界传媒檚 (multiple lawsuits are pending), and the herbicide glyphosate has been linked to various cancers. Indeed, Monsanto has had a recent judgment of $1.5 billion due to non-Hodgkins lymphoma caused by its glyphosate product Roundup, and has settled over 100,000 lawsuits claiming its product caused cancer, paying a total of $11 billion.

Is it prudent to spray like this? What product is being used?

ANSWER: As the city described it, multiple products are used that are tailored to time, place and specific purpose of each herbicide.

Honestly, I don性视界传媒檛 feel comfortable responding to the question 性视界传媒渋s it prudent,性视界传媒 not because I love the use of chemicals 性视界传媒 does anyone? 性视界传媒 and I性视界传媒檓 one of those people who lives up close and personal with the reality of growing cancer rates. I think, though, we can also imagine that a large portion of people are worried about just the things the city of Longview described in its explanation of its 性视界传媒淩oadside Rights of Way Turf Enhancement Program.性视界传媒

This is how Assistant Public Works Director Rick Evans described it:

性视界传媒淥ur Roadside Rights of Way Turf Enchantment Program improves the aesthetic appeal of the roadway and makes travel more pleasant for the public. The overall appearance of our roadways is better when unsightly weeds and grasses have been eliminated. Weed control and growth regulation are important pieces of Roadside Rights of Way Turf Enchantment Program,性视界传媒 Evans said in an email.

性视界传媒淥ur main goal is to create a consistent turf that is essentially weed-free and uniform in height. Accomplishing this in a cost-effective manner improves the appearance and lowers the cost to maintain roadside rights of way. NaturChem, the city性视界传媒檚 contractor, does this by making selective weed control applications that remove unsightly and tall broadleaf weeds and other undesirable vegetation. This gives the desirable vegetation, native grasses the ability to flourish without competition.

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性视界传媒楽elective weed control is the use of a herbicide or a combination of herbicides for the control of specific target plant species. Using herbicides selectively does not permanently harm desirable vegetation. Herbicides used for this type of control may be selective or low rates of non-selective herbicides.性视界传媒

The provided information about specifically what herbicides are used. That information provides a lot of detail about the potential hazards of some of the products. Frankly, it is too much information for Answer Line to include all of it. I have however attached those documents to the online version of this column.

These documents are called 性视界传媒淪afety Data Sheets,性视界传媒 and they性视界传媒檙e required by federal laws and regulations for chemical manufacturers, distributors and importers to provide 性视界传媒渇or each hazardous chemical to downstream users to communicate information on these hazards. ..... The SDS includes information such as the properties of each chemical; the physical, health, and environmental health hazards; protective measures; and safety precautions or handling, storing, and transporting the chemical.性视界传媒

I think section 2 on the Safety Data Sheets 性视界传媒淗azard(s) Identification性视界传媒 is particularly helpful if you just want a quick overview. I recommend though that you read more about the sections of Safety Data Sheets at

The Safety Data Sheets are fairly lengthy, which is why I性视界传媒檝e attached the ones the city provided for each of the herbicides used in the city性视界传媒檚 program. That way, you can read them for yourself. Here is a list, though, of the herbicides used:

Drexel Dicamba Herbicide; Panoramic 2SL; Outrider Herbicide; OpenSight Herbicide; Oust XT Herbicide; Milestone; Esplanade 200SC; Vastlan; Garlon; Method 240 SL Herbicide; Oust XP Herbicide; Plateau; Roundup Custom for Aquatic and Terrestrial Use (I性视界传媒檒l note the hazards identification section it says it性视界传媒檚 not considered hazardous under Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.); Alligare Tricoplyr 3; and Ranger Pro Herbicide.

Each of those pesticides are used in different times and places and in different amounts. I also have attached a document online providing specific information about their use as well.

— Answer Line appears Wednesday and in the Weekend edition. Email questions to answerline@news-journal.com, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write to P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.

Jo Lee Ferguson wishes she kept her maiden name - Hammer - because it was perfect for a reporter. She’s a local girl who loves writing about her hometown. She and LNJ Managing Editor Randy Ferguson have two children and a crazy husky.