GREENS on Burnley Council are asking members to consider banning the use of glyphosate-based weed killers.

Cllr Andy Fewings has proposed a motion to go before a full council meeting next week suggesting the council should phase out the use of all pesticides, herbicides and weedkillers on council owned or maintained land.

And he wants the council to stop using glyphosate-based products anywhere in the borough within a year.

Cllr Fewings claims there is compelling evidence that glyphosate and a wide range of other herbicides and pesticides may be harmful to human health.

He says recent studies show a 41 per cent increased risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma caused by exposure from glyphosate-based weed killers and products.

But EU bosses conducted a thorough risk assessment in 2017 and found insufficient evidence to directly link glyphosates as a cause of cancer.

The borough is not the first to reconsider its use of glyphosate herbicides.

Earlier this year, Hampshire County Council said it was re-examining its use of glyphosate herbicides, while the London borough of Richmond began trials of non-chemical weed removal in April.

And in March, Trafford Borough Council voted to phase out the use of all pesticides and weedkillers on council land, and scrap glyphosate treatments within a year on all but the most stubborn weeds.

In a motion to go before a full council meeting next week, Cllr Fewings said: "Italy, Portugal and the Canadian city of Vancouver have all banned use of glyphosate (or glyphosate-based weed killers) and France has banned the use of all non-agricultural pesticides as of January 2019.

"The use of pesticides, herbicides and weedkillers reduces biodiversity, impacting negatively on insects, birds and bees at a time when the world is losing 2.5 per cent of its insect population per year.

"Harmful weedkiller residues can creep into the food chain and pets and children should not be playing in parks treated with such chemicals."

If members back Cllr Fewings' motion, they will agree trial pesticide-free and herbicide-free alternatives during this period.

Exceptions could be granted for the control of Japanese knotweed or other invasive species, as long as treatments are stem-injected rather than sprayed.

Similar measures could be adopted for giant hogweed where it is absolutely necessary and not safe to be dug out or safely removed by other means and whilst there is no effective mechanical or alternative pesticide-free or herbicide-free techniques available.