A POTENTIALLY dangerous weedkiller with links to cancer will no longer be used by Renfrewshire Council around parks and schools as part of plans for a complete ban in the next few years.

Councillors have reached an agreement to halt the use of glyphosate in areas of recreation, amid fears it may cause harm to children and animals.

It is a popular herbicide used to kill certain plants and grasses but some studies have suggested it is probably carcinogenic.

At a full council meeting last week, elected members also decided to phase out using glyphosate entirely over the next two to three years while trialling alternative weedkilling methods.

The agreed motion stated the council would become a herbicide-free authority “as soon as is practicable.”

Councillor Andy Doig, who tabled a motion to ban the use of the chemical, said: “Constituents in Kilbarchan raised this with me, as they feel very passionately about it in terms of how it can be a potential risk to children and small animals.

“There are a number of councils in the UK with a full ban on glyphosate and others with restrictions.

“There’s been many occasions where products have been used in industry and then we’ve subsequently discovered they cause health issues like asbestos, so we need to find alternatives and some are coming on stream.

“The other thing is a lot of pesticides are becoming resistant to rain and we have a lot of that in the west of Scotland.

“I think that outlines the case for stopping the use of glyphosate. I understand we need to do that gradually.”

Councillors have asked for a report to be brought back to the environment board on safer alternatives to glyphosate.

Work will also be carried out to ensure Renfrewshire Leisure phases out the chemical in future.

Liberal Democrat councillor Eileen McCartin, who represents Paisley Southwest, said: “I think it’s very important we stop using glyphosate now, particularly around schools and playparks.”