Weedkiller Roundup Found in Urine of 80% of US Population
- CDC study finds glyphosate, controversial ingredient found in weedkillers including popular Roundup brand, present in samples
More than 80% of urine samples drawn from children and adults in a US health study contained a weedkilling chemical linked to cancer, a finding scientists have called “disturbing” and “concerning”.
The report by a unit of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that out of 2,310 urine samples, taken from a group of Americans intended to be representative of the US population, 1,885 were laced with detectable traces of glyphosate.
This is the active ingredient in herbicides sold around the world, including the widely used Roundup brand. Almost a third of the participants were children ranging from six to 18.
Academics and private researchers have been noting high levels of the herbicide glyphosate in analyses of human urine samples for years, but the CDC has only recently started examining the extent of human exposure to glyphosate in the US.
The health impacts of glyphosate are disputed and the CDC report makes no observation about what the detected levels mean in terms of human health outcomes. However, its work comes at a time of mounting concerns and controversy over how pesticides in food and water impact human and environmental health.
“I expect that the realization that most of us have glyphosate in our urine will be disturbing to many people, we know that a large fraction of the population has it in urine. Many people will be thinking about whether that includes them.”Lianne Sheppard, professor at the University of Washington’s department of environmental and occupational health sciences.
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