Lambeth Council has confirmed it uses uses a weedkiller at the centre of a landmark US court case that links the chemical with cancer, but is moving away from using herbicides.

US chemical giant Monsanto has been ordered to pay $289m (£226m) damages to a former school grounds keeper who claimed herbicides containing glyphosate had caused his cancer.

Lambeth Council still uses chemicals on public highways but does not use herbicides to remove weeds in parks, open spaces and cemeteries.

A council spokesperson said the council was committed to finding alternatives to weed control.

“We have signed up to the commitment to end the widespread use of herbicides in the borough, and we are determined to do this,” he said.

“It does take a bit of time to ensure we have cost-effective alternatives that work, and we are trialling different methods of weeding that we hope will enable us to move away from herbicides.”

According to Lambeth Council documents, the council uses hot water treatments, flame guns, mechanical weed-rippers, strimming and hand-weeding to remove weeds – but chemicals are still used for Japanese Knotweed.

Weed control services on public highways were contracted to Veolia, whuch uses glyphosate.

“Veolia is the current provider of weed control services on the public highway on behalf of the council and their primary method is to use glyphosate,” according to council documents.

“The use of glyphosate is cost-effective and its efficient use helps maintain clean and weed-free streets as far as practically possible,” the documents explained.

“Although research into the impacts of glyphosate have been relatively inconclusive, it is important to recognise the concerns and regularly review alternative approaches.”