Roundup Weed Killer Warnings

Written by michelle skidgel
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Roundup Weed Killer Warnings
Control weeds by chemical means, but be aware of what you're using. (Lonny Kalfus/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Roundup Weed & Grass Killer, produced by the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, is used to kill and control plants in areas including lawns, flower gardens and vegetable gardens. As with all nonorganic herbicides, the product contains chemicals that may be harmful if you come into contact with them. Always read the bottle label to ensure you know its exact contents.

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Isopropylamine Salt of Glyphosate

Roundup Weed & Grass Killer contains two listed active ingredients, one of which is 2 per cent isopropylamine salt of glyphosate. According to the chemical's material safety data sheet on file with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this substance may irritate eyes and cause blurred vision, diarrhoea, vomiting and nausea. The membranes within the mouth may become irritated. The substance in a spray form can cause upper respiratory tract problems. Overall, the MSDS rates isopropylamine salt of glyphosate as being a slight health hazard and recommends care by a doctor in the event it is ingested or inhaled.

Pelargonic Acid

The other active ingredient listed on the Roundup Weed & Grass Killer label is 2 per cent pelargonic acid. This acid is found in nearly all living beings, and as such it is generally considered harmless in small quantities. When used as a weed killer, pelargonic acid is safe as long as its use in areas containing edible plants takes place at least 24 hours before the plants' harvest for use as food, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Label Warnings

The primary warning on the Roundup Weed & Grass Killer label is to keep the bottle and its contents away from children. The packaging warns against allowing people and pets into the area of application until after the herbicide has dried. Application of the herbicide on plants you wish to keep in your garden will kill them. In addition, since it will kill surrounding grasses or plants, the weed killer is not recommended for spot weed killing.

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