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Case Study: Herbicide Use in Wild Parsnip and Giant Hogweed Control
The document was developed in response to a request from the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit to assist with addressing public concerns about the use of herbicides to control invasive poisonous plant species in road side ditches and rights-of-way located within Lanark County.
Public Health Ontario reviewed the scientific literature on the following in the preparation of this document:
- evidence of human health effects from exposure to wild parsnip and giant hogweed
- evidence of movement in the environment and effects on human health from exposure to the active ingredients: aminopyralid and metsulfuron-methyl
- evidence of health effects associated with the use of adjuvants along with aminopyralid and metsulfuron-methyl
It was not within the scope of the case study to consider adverse effects to ecosystems from either the occurrence or destruction of the weeds or herbicide application.
The results of the review showed:
- no evidence of adverse effects on human health from residual or low environmental level exposures to aminopyralid and metsulfuron-methyl, was identified during this review.
- integrated pest management (IPM) of invasive species like wild parsnip and giant hogweed focuses on the long-term prevention of pests through a combination of strategies that may include the use of herbicides, manual removal and public awareness.