Monday, August 22, 2022

Ingredient in weedkillers tied to cancer is found in 80% of U.S. urine samples, new study finds

Scientists declare "disturbing" and "concerning" a new study's findings that 80% of urine samples drawn from U.S. children and adults contain a pesticide ingredient linked to cancer. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report, according to a recent story by Carey Gillam in The Guardian, says glyphosate, the active ingredient in herbicides (including Roundup, the world's best-selling weedkiller), was found in 1,875 samples out of 2,310 tested.

The samples were intended to be representative of the U.S. population, with almost a third of the participants being children between the ages of six and 18.

Professor Lianne Sheppard
Gillam's article quotes Lianne Sheppard, professor at the University of Washington's department of environmental and occupational health sciences, to the effect that she expects "the realization that most of us have glyphosate in our urine will be disturbing to many people."

Sheppard co-authored a 2019 analysis that found glyphosate exposure "increases the risk" of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The amount of glyphosate in human urine, the Guardian story says as it cites research published by University of California San Diego School of Medicine scientists, "has been steadily rising since the1990s when Monsanto Co. introduced genetically altered crops [such as corn and soybeans] designed to be sprayed direction with Roundup."

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), however, claimed it was not likely to be that. Only last month, in contrast, a federal appeals court ruled the agency needs to give "further consideration" to the risks; that opinion also vacated the agency's safety determination. 

Dr. Philip J. Landrigan
Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, who worked at both the CDC and EPA for years and now directs Boston College's Program for Global Public Health and the Common Good, is also quoted by Gillam: "People of all ages should be concerned, but I'm particularly concerned for children. Children are more heavily exposed to pesticides than adult because pound-for-pound they drink more water, eat more food and breathe more air. Also, children have many years of future life when they can develop diseases with long incubation periods such as cancer. This is particularly a concern with the herbicide, glyphosate."

More information about disease studies can be found in "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

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