Residents concerned about pesticide usage around Boyd Pond in North Brunswick


Share post:

NORTH BRUNSWICK – Residents are concerned about the use of pesticides around Boyd Pond and other areas of the township.

Neil Kamichoff, who lives in the area, mentioned the Monsanto/Bayer lawsuit in California that is paying money to victims who were struck with cancer from Roundup weed killer. He likened it to Agent Orange used during the Vietnam War.

- Advertisement -

“What do Roundup and Agent Orange have in common, aside from the obvious effect of clearing all vegetation? They have been found to be carcinogenic,” Kamichoff told North Brunswick Township Council members during the Sept. 16 meeting.

Referencing Boyd Pond, the split rail fence near the dam, and the South Boyd Parkway Tot Lot off Independence Boulevard, Kamichoff said a chemical defoliant has been used since at least the summer of 2015.

Kamichoff said the Material Source Data Sheet for the product used by North Brunswick is Rodeo herbicide, which consists of 53.75% glyphosate IPA salt. By comparison, the main ingredient in Roundup consists of only 41% of glyphosate, he said.

“Glyphosate, and I quote, ‘is a broad-spectrum, non-selective systemic herbicide. It is useful on essentially all annual and perennial plants including grasses, broad-leaved weeds and woody plants,'” he said.

Kamichoff proposed that the Township Council enact an ordinance to prohibit the use of this type of chemical defoliant on any and all township property, including school properties, parks and playgrounds.

“I see no reason for the use of this chemical defoliant. It is harmful and destructive to the environment. Additionally it can be carcinogenic. I cannot see the use of the term ‘safe and effective when used as directed’ can be applied to this product,” he said.

Eric Chaszar, director of the North Brunswick Department of Public Works, which oversees the Parks Department, said Rodeo is used by the township, county and state for its parks and fields. He said Rodeo is approved by the county health department and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Frank Locke, a supervisor in the Parks Department, who holds a New Jersey pesticide license, said that Rodeo is absorbed by leaves and goes to the root to kill plants. He said it is safe when used according to the label. He also said it is safe for use on aquatic plants, and although North Brunswick does not use it for that purpose, it shows it is safe for use around Boyd Ponds.

“We probably would not use a pesticide in our operations, but we are small-staffed,” with only eight workers, Locke said, noting it is very difficult to weed wack, mow, trim trees, repair playgrounds, paint soccer fields, etc., over the township’s 300 acres each week, especially in time for weekend usage by residents, which is most popular.

On a related note, Roxanne Kamichoff said she is concerned about the aesthetics of the area since the playground, especially, does not look inviting to children.

“It really makes it very ugly looking,” she said, to which Mayor Francis “Mac” Womack replied, “The pictures [Neil Kamichoff presented] really speak to that.”

Roxanne Kamichoff also said she has spoken with local dog owners who are concerned about the danger to their pets.

“You’ve raised some issues for us,” Womack said “and not ones that we want to ignore.”

Womack referred the issues to the North Brunswick Environmental Commission for its review and recommendations.

Contact Jennifer Amato at

Stay Connected


Current Issue

Latest News

Related articles

Windows of Understanding addresses social justice issues through art

For husband and wife, Dan and Peichi Waite, the word dignity played a big role when putting together...

North Brunswick native sworn in as township police officer

NORTH BRUNSWICK - Seven years after graduating from North Brunswick Township High School, Jake Codella comes home to...

A musician’s journey from professional drummer to film composer

With the upcoming release of Bezos:The Beginning, Professional composer, Colin Bell, shared his creative process on scoring his...

North Brunswick BOE welcomes two new board members

NORTH BRUNSWICK - The New Year for North Brunswick's Board of Education is underway as the board has...