Glyphosate Toxicity


NOTE: No personal opinions are expressed in this article. These notes are taken from published medical science papers indexed by the US National Library of Congress. They index only peer reviewed papers published in reputable journals. Industry literature, publications and pseudo-science are not indexed and industry funded research unless declared and proven totally independent is rejected. More details can be found on the libraries PubMed website using the PMID number.

This poison is the active ingredient in commercial products such as Round Up.

Although glyphosate is only slightly toxic to rats, GlySH may lead to severe effects, including death, in humans. PMID: 19663613

The case fatality from acute poisoning with glyphosate-containing herbicides is approximately 7.7% (in humans) More research is required to define the mechanism of toxicity, better predict the small group at risk, and find effective treatments. PMID: 20136481

Glyphosate has until recent years been considered to be a low health risk substance for humans. However, The levels of cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of glyphosate occurring in human cells suggests that its mechanism of action is not limited to plant cells. PMID: 16276681

Studies on human cells showed toxicity and hormone disruption at sub agricultural levels with effects within 24 hours caused by concentrations as low as 0.5 parts per million. And DNA damage at  5 parts per million.  The impact of glyphosate-based herbicides residues in food, feed or in the environment now has thus to be considered real. PMID: 19539684

Another  work clearly confirms that the additives in commercial glyphosate formulations are not inert. Moreover, the proprietary mixtures available on the market could cause cell damage and even death around residual levels to be expected from agricultural use, especially in food and feed derived from formulation-treated crops. PMID: 19105591

The exposure of children to glyphosate should be avoided as recent animal studies have shown that commercial formulation of glyphosate is a potent endocrine (hormone) disruptor, causing disturbances in reproductive development when the exposure was during the puberty period. PMID: 20012598

Pregnant women are also at risk as others have found that glyphosate exposure from commercial preparations can affect human reproduction and fetal development in case of contamination. Chemical mixtures in formulations appear to be underestimated regarding their toxic or hormonal impact. PMID: 17486286

In Sweden exposure to glyphosate pesticide is considered a risk factor for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). PMID: 18623080 A study carried out by Swedish oncologists in 2001 showed that glyphosate may induce cancer of the lymphatic system. The results of the Swedish study have changed opinion about “safety” of this herbicide. Investigations concerning both its accumulation and toxic effect in animals and plants are now under way in many laboratories. PMID: 15055003

Investigation of human brains in acute lethal glyphosate poisoning show extensive bilateral damage to the brain stem and white matter. PMID: 19877558  There have also been several reports of exposure to glyphosate spraying causing secondary Parkinson’s disease, PMID: 11391760, PMID: 12894271 Which supports neurological damage to humans by glyphosate exposure.

The estimate of the dissipation rate (k) of glyphosate showed a half-life value of 4.2 days.(in water) It was observed that glyphosate produced a long term shift in water systems turning “clear” waters to “turbid”,  due to changes in organism populations. PMID: 20091117

Glyphosate is persistent for long periods in (and on) soils and may cause surface water pollution. PMID: 16628542 Its breakdown is dependent on bacteria in soil (not sunshine). Rotting (poisoned) vegetation will increase soil loads. Absorption of herbicides in plants delays their subsequent soil-degradation, and particularly, glyphosate persistence in soil could increase from two to six times. The modifications of herbicide degradation in soil due to interception by plants should be considered for environmental risks assessment. PMID: 19625069  Glyphosate negatively alters soil microbial composition. PMID: 19697445

It has been shown that aquatic wetland communities can be dramatically impacted by low concentrations of pesticides (from run-off) including glyphosate (both separate and combined) and these results offer important insights for the conservation of wetland species and communities. PMID: 19002502

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