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How Long Will Glyphosate Stay In Soil?
(3 Elements for a Claim)

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Glyphosate is one of the most commonly used non-selective herbicides in the U.S., and it, more often than not, remains in the soil, contaminating crops and plant roots. 

However, studies from the past decade demonstrate that glyphosate use, particularly in Roundup weed killer, causes many side effects and severe health problems. 

If you have experienced any side effects from glyphosate or Roundup exposure, you can hire an established and trusted law firm like  Schmidt & Clark, LLP, to represent you.

Quick Summary

  • Glyphosate typically remains in the soil for up to six months, depending on the soil type and climate.
  • You can remove glyphosate from the soil by adding water, non-contaminated organic matter, and oxygen.
  • Roundup is one of the most harmful weed killers as it contains the highest concentration of glyphosate.
  • Exposure to Roundup or glyphosate has been linked to side effects such as skin irritation, burns in the throat and mouth, and cancer development.

How Long Does It Take Glyphosate to Leave the Soil?

A farmer spraying glyphosate on farm soilIt takes up to six months for glyphosate to leave the soil. Glyphosate persistence in the soil is highly dependent on climate, soil type, and environmental factors.

To understand why glyphosate takes up to six months to disappear from the soil, we must explain the pesticide’s half-life. 

A half-life of a pesticide, in this case, glyphosate, is the amount of time it takes for a pesticide to be reduced by half [1]. This represents a natural process of pesticide breakdown in the soil. 

Half-life is crucial because it estimates the persistence of a particular weed killer in the soil.

Here are pesticide half-life groups:

  • Low group – less than 16-day half-life
  • Moderate group – 16 to 59 days half-life
  • High group – over 60 days

The half-life of glyphosate is estimated to be nine days, meaning it belongs to the low group. 

This is important because some weeds must be treated with herbicides for multiple weeks. If glyphosate half-life isn’t enough to kill or inhibit the growth of a particular weed, then it needs to be applied consistently.

This increases the risk of glyphosate exposure to people and can cause severe side effects and health problems, aside from disrupting crop health.

However, it is essential to note that the chemical glyphosate is unlikely to get into the groundwater due to its nature of binding tightly to the soil surface when used as a weed killer. 

Related Article: Glyphosate Lawsuit Update

How Do You Remove Glyphosate From Soil?

A farmer spraying glyphosate on soilTo remove glyphosate from the soil, you must increase the microbial breakdown of herbicides in the soil. This is achieved by adding oxygen, water, and non-contaminated organic matter to the soil. 

Microorganisms’ primary food in the soil is weed killer. Since microorganisms need food, the best way to remove glyphosate from the soil faster is to add oxygen, water, and non-contaminated organic matter [2]. This combination allows microorganisms to multiply(proliferate) in the soil and speed up herbicide breakdown. 

Furthermore, fertilizer may help increase microbial breakdown. Fertilizers like Algae AquaCulture Technologies and Soil Diva might be useful for microbial breakdown. However, there is no sufficient scientific evidence to prove its usefulness.

Roundup in the Soil

Roundup weed killer is a popular herbicide product for controlling weeds and grasses. It contains up to 41% of glyphosate. In addition, exposure to Roundup has been linked to severe health problems such as Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that a weed killer like Roundup can remain active in the soil for 6 months and possibly up to a year [3]. Roundup soil contamination mainly depends on the amount applied and environmental conditions.

“We have 20,000 soil types in the U.S., and they all have different characteristics and textures, so you really can’t make the assumption that this molecule is going to be completely neutralized in every field in which it’s being used.”
Robert Kremer, Microbiologist

Does Roundup Poison the Soil?

A farmer checking the soil for Roundup poisonYes, Roundup poisons the soil. Roundup’s ingredient, glyphosate, contaminates the soil and poisons helpful microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and protozoa.

Monsanto, an agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation acquired by the pharmaceutical company Bayer in 2016, claims that the weed killer Roundup is safe and doesn’t poison the soil. 

However, one of the USDA’s leading microbiologists disagrees. According to Robert Kremer, a glyphosate-based weed killer like Roundup poses environmental risks, as it kills many helpful microorganisms in the soil and contaminates groundwater, contrary to its nature since it tightly binds to the soil particles [4]. 

This may be a reason enough to urge authorities to neutralize Roundup from areas that absorbed the harmful chemicals.

Related Article: Roundup Lawsuit Update

Glyphosate Side Effects

Some of the ways to get in contact with glyphosate are by touching, swallowing, or inhaling the chemical [5].

Short-term side effects of glyphosate and glyphosate-based weed killers are:

  • Skin irritation
  • Eye irritation
  • Throat/nose irritation
  • Burns in the throat/mouth
  • Increased saliva
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

The severity of side effects is based on several factors, including how individuals were exposed to the chemical. Also, the duration of exposure plays a significant role too. 

Some of the more serious side effects of most weed killers containing glyphosate are:

The primary reason glyphosate, as a weed killer, is bad for human health is its content of formulants. The most dangerous formulant is POEA, a petroleum-based oxidized molecule. 

In one of the studies, scientists concluded that exposing human cells to the components of glyphosate formulations is toxic and bad for health [6]. Also, in the same study, scientists identified heavy metals such as chromium, arsenic, and cobalt, which are known to be toxic to humans and their endocrine system. 

See all related toxic tort lawsuits our lawyers covered so far.

Does Glyphosate Cause Cancer?

A doctor explaining the relation of glyphosate and cancerGlyphosate likely causes cancer. This is because exposing yourself to glyphosate-based herbicides or glyphosate residues increases the risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and The European Food Safety Authority agree that there is no sufficient evidence to support the claim that glyphosate residues cause cancer in humans. Also, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) approved glyphosate use until 15 December 2022.

However, The World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer disagrees. 

In 2015, they stated that glyphosate is probably a human carcinogen. In 2019, researchers from The University of Washington concluded that glyphosate extensive use increases the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma by more than 40% [7]

Reason for the Recall

The main reason to initiate a glyphosate recall is that it is bad for human health and linked to cancer. One of the most popular weed killers, Roundup, contains large percentages of glyphosate.

Roundup and glyphosate have been linked to cancer types such as:

Over a thousand Roundup lawsuits have been filed against Bayer, a German pharmaceutical and biotechnology company. Lawsuits against Bayer tried to prove a connection between the exposure of Roundup and the development of the NHL. 

In addition, a large corpus of studies in the last 8 years has shown that high exposure to glyphosate-based weed killers increases the risk of developing different forms of cancer.

What Is the Burden of Proof During a Roundup Claim?

Two attorneys explaining the burden of proof during a roundup claim

If you are experiencing health problems because of the glyphosate in Roundup, you may have grounds for a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturing company. 

Glyphosate-based weed killers may be responsible for your illness or a loved one’s death due to the failure to warn customers of a known risk. 

To hold a Roundup company liable for your damages, you must gather sufficient evidence to prove three key elements:

  1. You will need to prove that the weed killer you used contained a defect. This can be a defect in its makeup, design, manufacture, distribution, or marketing. Roundup might be dangerous if the company fails to place proper warnings on the product’s container. Therefore, any of the chemical’s potential effects must be visible.
  2. You must prove that the defective drug, in this case, Roundup, is the main cause of your injury or illness. Your attorney must establish a causal link between the defective medication and the health complication in question. Essentially, you must gather all documents that prove Roundup is the main cause of your illness.
  3. Finally, you must prove that you suffered damages from using Roundup. You must have proof of compensable damages related to the product, such as bills or wrongful death. Your attorney can inform you of the damages you may qualify for and help gather the necessary evidence to prove them.

Average Settlement

The average settlement for a glyphosate lawsuit is anywhere between $5,000 and $250,000 in compensation. 

However, every lawsuit is different. The severity of related illnesses heavily influences the compensation rate, and the extent of the exposure also plays a major factor.

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Does Glyphosate Linger in the Soil?

Yes, glyphosate lingers in the soil. Glyphosate can stay up to six months in the soil, depending on the soil type and climate.

Is Roundup Absorbed Through the Roots?

Yes, Roundup is absorbed through the roots. Several crop species can absorb Roundup through their roots: barley, beets, cotton, maize, and rapeseed.

Can You Plant Vegetables After Using Roundup?

Yes, you can plant vegetables after using Roundup. You can plant your vegetables after one day of applying Roundup.

Do You Have a Roundup Claim?

Glyphosate stays in the soil for up to 6 months, and Roundup may even stay up to a year. Since the half-life of glyphosate is nine days on average, spraying more consistently is necessary to kill certain weeds and grasses.

This is why many people have experienced severe health problems from glyphosate use in Roundup.

While most Roundup lawsuits have already been settled (or are in settlement negotiations), there is still time to file a Roundup claim, provided the case meets certain criteria. 

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or chronic lymphocytic leukemia after exposure to Roundup, you should book a free lawsuit evaluation with Schmidt & Clark, LLP experienced Roundup Attorneys/Lawyers.



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