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What Is Glyphosate Poisoning & What Causes It?
(6 Common Symptoms)

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There is no doubt that glyphosate is one of the most used non-selective herbicides worldwide. However, glyphosate products can be extremely harmful to humans and even cause heavy poisoning. 

In addition, glyphosate is also linked to many diseases, such as cancer, and has various side effects. 

That’s why The World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer has tried to ban glyphosate use in Roundup. 

If you want to learn more about the causes and symptoms of glyphosate poisoning and what happens when it enters the body, keep reading below. 

Quick Summary

  • Glyphosate poisoning is the result of extreme glyphosate exposure and results in the disruption of cellular membranes.
  • Symptoms of glyphosate poisoning are diarrhea, breathing difficulty, and abdominal cramps.
  • Glyphosate typically stays in our body for a few hours; however, it may remain in our system for up to a few days.
  • Exposing human cells to glyphosate components is toxic and may even result in cancer development.

What Causes Glyphosate Toxicity?

A gardener using glyphosate on weedsGlyphosate toxicity is caused by surfactants and other co-formulants. The result is the uncoupling of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and disruption of cellular membranes.

Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide primarily used in agriculture for killing weeds and grasses.

When we get exposed to glyphosate, our body absorbs it poorly but rapidly. The glyphosate peak concentration typically reaches within four to six hours. 

However, this duration applies to people without any impairments. Those with renal impairment may experience a prolonged duration of glyphosate in their bodies [1].

Related Article: Glyphosate Lawsuit Update

What Are the Symptoms of Glyphosate Poisoning?

The symptoms of glyphosate poisoning may include diarrhea, breathing difficulty, and abdominal cramps. Most of these symptoms can occur when swallowing produce containing glyphosate.

Other symptoms of glyphosate poisoning are [2]:

  • Drowsiness
  • Irritation in the mouth and throat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Kidney failure
  • Slow heart rate

Glyphosate’s acute toxicity is still to be debated. However, some studies suggest that pesticide exposure leads to serious health problems.

If you think you have glyphosate poisoning, you should call emergency services as soon as possible. 

Here is what information you should disclose when contacting them:

  • Weight, age, and condition
  • Product’s name
  • Amount swallowed
  • The time of poisoning

Since significant glyphosate exposure or exposure to pesticide residues may lead to severe damage and health risks, you will be asked to perform blood and urine tests.

What Happens to Glyphosate When It Enters the Body?

A doctor explaining what happens to the body when glyphosate enters itWhen glyphosate enters the body, it inhibits the enzyme EPSP synthase, which increases neurons’ membrane potential and communication with other cells.

This reduces the synthesis of aromatic amino acids such as phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan, which are essential in the human diet.

Glyphosate typically passes quickly through the system and exits through waste and urine. This is important to mention because glyphosate isn’t a developmental or reproductive toxin.

However, some studies suggest that glyphosate stays longer in subjects diagnosed with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease [3].

Regardless of race, age, ethnicity, body mass index, or diabetes status, glyphosate residue was consistently higher in those patients with fatty liver disease. 

This, in turn, may lead to more severe damage to your system when glyphosate enters your body. 

What Removes Glyphosate From the Body?

Binders such as fulvic or humic acid and chlorella remove glyphosate from the body. In addition, nutrients can help by supporting the liver, a detoxification system.

Detoxification enzymes like cytochrome P450 can be helpful in cleaning the body of toxins [4]. 

These enzymes are essential for carcinogens and xenobiotic chemicals. They work by activating vitamin D and maintaining the production of bile acid and sulfate supplies, essential for cleaning toxins from our bodies.

Furthermore, they aid in catabolizing vitamin A, which is essential for our immune system. 

However, glyphosate will inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes and cause metabolic disruptions of the enzyme’s function. That’s why we need fulvic or humic acid and chlorella to remove glyphosate from the body completely.

How Long Does Glyphosate Stay in the Human Body?

A doctor explaining how long glyphosate stays in the bodyGlyphosate stays in the human body for a few hours to a few days. This is because glyphosate disperses quickly in water; therefore, dilution occurs fast.

Glyphosate and its metabolite AMPA are measured in urine and blood. However, AMPA and glyphosate don’t stay long in the body, and that’s why these biomarkers can only determine recent exposure to the herbicide [5]. 

Usually, it takes between three to nineteen weeks for half of the active glyphosate to degrade. Since glyphosate disperses in water, moving water (drinking, sweating, urinating, etc.) will decrease its concentration.

How Do You Test Your Body for Glyphosate?

To test your body for glyphosate, you must visit a laboratory and conduct the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method. This method utilizes an antibody that is glyphosate-specific.

Most of these laboratories will require you to bring one of the following two samples:

  1. Water – Fill the container supplied with Glyphosate in the water test kit half to three-quarters full.
  2. Urine – Ten milliliters of first-morning urine before your drink or eat any food.

However, though glyphosate is present in our bodies due to the consumption of products contaminated with the chemical, more research is necessary to understand the extent of exposure.

Glyphosate Side Effects

A doctor explaining to a patient the side effects of glyphosate

Some of the ways to get in contact with glyphosate are by touching, swallowing, or inhaling the chemical [6].

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

Some of the more serious side effects are:

The primary reason glyphosate 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 human health [7].

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. 

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Does Glyphosate Cause Cancer?

Glyphosate 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 use increases the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma by more than 40% [8]

Reason for the Recall

Close up shot of a lawyer's gavel on a table

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 increases the risk of developing different forms of cancer.

What Is the Burden of Proof During a Roundup Claim?

A lawyer/doctor 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 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 product 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.

FAQs

What Causes Glyphosate Toxicity?

Glyphosate toxicity is caused by surfactants and other co-formulants. It involves the disruption of cellular membranes and uncoupling of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation.

Can Glyphosate Cause Brain Damage?

Yes, glyphosate can cause brain damage. Journal of Neuroinflammation published a study indicating that glyphosate increases the risk of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Does Glyphosate Harm Gut Bacteria?

Yes, glyphosate does harm gut bacteria. Glyphosate exposure can damage more than half of the 101 species of bacteria in our gut.

Do You Have a Roundup Claim?

Glyphosate poisoning can cause severe health problems like Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In addition, poisoning has increased exponentially in the last ten years because of the presence of glyphosate in commercial products like Roundup.

Most of the Roundup lawsuits have been settled. However, there is still time to file a Roundup claim if you experienced glyphosate poisoning.

If you have been diagnosed with glyphosate poisoning after exposing yourself to the glyphosate product like Roundup, here is what to do:

Book a free lawsuit evaluation with Schmidt & Clark, LLP Roundup Lawyers/Attorneys.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15862083/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945755/
  3. https://health.ucsd.edu/news/press-releases/2019-05-14-herbicide-linked-to-human-liver-disease/
  4. https://misuse.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/error/abuse.shtml
  5. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxguides/toxguide-214.pdf
  6. http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/glyphogen.html
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29321978/
  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1383574218300887

 

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