Roundup, salt equally toxic to humans

If the general public understood more about these products, they may not be so afraid of them

To the editor;

I believe pesticides and herbicides should be allowed to be used in Kamloops and across B.C.

I have been a forestry contractor for more than 30 years and have applied both pesticides, and herbicides for 10 or more years during that time.

One frustrating thing in this whole debate is that most people don’t know the difference between a pesticide and a herbicide. Simply put, pesticides are used to control pests like mosquitoes, bees and mountain pine beetle. Herbicides are used to control vegetation weeds. Of course, some herbicides and pesticides are more dangerous than others. Part of the process in obtaining a pesticide-applicator licence is knowing and understanding toxicity levels of the product with which you are working.

Toxicity levels represent the amount of a product that it would take that, if consumed by a human, could be fatal. The higher the toxicity level number representing a product, the less harmful that product would be to human health; the lower the number, the greater the toxicity results.

It’s been a few years since I’ve had an applicators licence and I don’t have a toxicity table in front of me. Even without the toxicity table, though, there are two products I recall being similar in toxicity levels, meaning it would take roughly the same amount of each product to be ingested by a human to be possibly fatal. Those two products are table salt and Roundup.

In other words, a person would have to ingest roughly the same amount of Roundup as he or she would table salt before it would result in a fatality.

If the general public understood more about these products, they may not be so afraid of their proper use.

Gary Barber

Kamloops, B.C.