POTENTIALLY dangerous weedkillers could be banned in Burnley if a proposed trial is successful.

Green Party councillors in the borough want to see the council cease use of glyphosate-based weedkillers.

A report to go before next week’s executive meeting proposes the council should investigate phasing out the use of pesticides and herbicides on land that it owns or manages by undertaking trials of alternative techniques and reviewing progress made by other authorities. b.

A trial would be carried out to cease the use of glyphosate in children’s play areas and in Thompson and Ightenhill parks from April 2020 to the end of September 2020 using alternative methods of mechanical and steam treatment to manage weeds.

And a secondary trial would be undertaken for the use of the organic herbicide pelargonic acid for control of weeds around graves in Burnley Cemetery from April 2020 to the end of September 2020.

Results from the trials would be reported back to the council in November and a decision would then be taken about the future use of glyphosate-based products.

Council bosses say glyphosate is certified and approved for the control of weeds in public places and is the safest and most cost-effective method available.

But growing popular and political pressure to eliminate the use of glyphosate could lead to the chemical being de-listed at some point in the future.

And so the council wants to investigate ways in which glyphosate and other pesticides could be eliminated.

In July last year, Cllr Andy Fewings proposed a motion suggesting the council should phase out the use of all pesticides, herbicides and weedkillers on council owned or maintained land.

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.

Last 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.