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Parent issues warning against weed removal product after learning about concerning health effects: 'I hadn't done an ounce of research'

It seems wise to err on the side of caution when it comes to your health and environmental damage.

It seems wise to err on the side of caution when it comes to your health and environmental damage.

Photo Credit: iStock

Making mistakes is a vital part of the learning process, but that didn't stop one novice gardener from chastising themselves after making a poor choice. 

One Redditor who harshly referred to themselves as "an idiot beginner" took to Reddit to share a lesson they learned while trying to kill some stubborn weeds. 

"I'm very new to gardening, and just starting my yard by yanking the weeds. I saw Roundup at home depot and figured it'd be good to use for the stubborn ones," they wrote in the r/gardening subreddit. "I did some weeding today and sprayed it in a couple areas in the back. I didn't use too much of it and tried to keep it close to the soil as to not spread it over the grass."

When the Redditor's husband found out, he "rightfully freaked," the new gardener explained. They have a toddler and were concerned that the Roundup might be harmful to her. "I hadn't done an ounce of research on it besides reading the label," they added. 

While using chemical herbicides and pesticides can be bad for your health and the environment, this beginner gardener was being way too hard on themselves. As many commenters pointed out, their toddler was in no immediate danger. 

"You and the toddler will be fine… once it's dried, it won't hurt anyone unless they eat it," one Redditor assured them. According to the CDC, kids and pets should stay away from areas sprayed with glyphosate — the active ingredient in Roundup — for 24 hours. 

Coming into contact with glyphosate can irritate your eyes, nose, and skin. Inhaling it can irritate your throat, and swallowing it can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even death. 

Studies vary on the long-term effects, but a considerable amount of research suggests that significant exposure is linked to an increased risk of cancer, mainly non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The International Agency for Research on Cancer deemed it "probably carcinogenic to humans."

Glyphosate can also reduce an ecosystem's biodiversity. Researchers studied the effects of glyphosate on phytoplankton communities and found that while the algae could build up an immunity to the chemical, it came at the cost of diversity. The loss of biodiversity can severely impact an ecosystem's ability to adapt to new pollutants or stressors — a significant concern considering our changing climate

It seems wise to err on the side of caution when it comes to your health and environmental damage, especially because there are easy, cheap, chemical-free ways to kill weeds in your yard. 

HGTV suggests combining vinegar, salt, and dish soap to spray on weeds. Boiling water is also known to kill weeds quickly and safely. If you're just starting your landscaping project, you can lay down newspaper or cardboard and cover it with mulch. Planting ground covers, like clover, will also out-compete weeds for light and nutrients. 

While this Redditor was clearly stressed out by their decision, they can relieve that stress by getting back out there and gardening more. Growing your own food has numerous health benefits and is a great way to save money at the grocery store. 

If food isn't your jam, consider planting a native garden. Native plants require less water and maintenance, saving you time and money. Plus, pollinators love them, so you won't be the only one to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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