A common household herbicide contains a chemical that was supposed to be safe. It’s not.
It seems next to impossible to avoid harmful chemicals in the products we consume, at those places we frequent or in our water supply. They seem to be everywhere, including floating through the air, interwoven into the fabric of our clothes, in the things we touch, or in our own homes. It’s no wonder why cancer rates are at an all-time high. One such harmful (and carcinogenic) chemical many have been exposed to in weedkiller is glyphosate.
This chemical is an herbicide that is found in products used for taking care of lawns and in most popular weedkillers. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the chemical works by blocking an enzyme essential for plant growth, thus disabling weeds from growing. Over the years, a false message has been circulating that glyphosate is safe for people to interact with. However, a recent study is urging this is simply not the case.
The study looked at over 2000 urine samples collected by participants and found this popular herbicide chemical was present in their systems. Those who had high levels of glyphosate in their urine had experienced a bodily reaction called ‘oxidative stress.’ Simply put, oxidative stress is an imbalance in the body that can do damage to DNA. All human bodies go through oxidation, which is normal, but oxidative stress is not. Its presence represents an imbalance between free radical activity and antioxidant activity.
The longer a person suffers from oxidative stress, the more at risk they become of certain, often life-threatening diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, atherosclerosis, and finally cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia, and myeloma.
Certain pesticides and cleaners have been scientifically proven to increase oxidative stress. Aside from those products, cigarette smoke, pollution, and radiation are also risk factors.
While the study is new and is only one particular study, it is concerning that a common herbicide could cause these issues in a person’s body. More research must be done to determine if this is a fluke or truly a problem that could lead to disease.
One weedkiller company says the study has many flaws and conflicts with other research that has been done in the past. However, it goes without saying that manufacturers of these products are, at the end of the day, concerned about their bottom line and don’t want to go through the expensive and time-consuming process of removing products from the market and reengineering them to take out glyphosate.
Using proper warnings on products is always important and necessary. It is what not only keeps consumers safe but better protects companies against liability. Yet, even despite placing warning labels of products that contain glyphosate, it is concerning that oxidative stress can be occurring from using a common household product.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) evaluates pesticides to make sure they are safe for human health and the environment when used according to label directions. Should more studies find glyphosate to be dangerous to human health, the EPA would be responsible for issuing a mandated removal from the market.