A Startling Number Of Americans Have Weed Killer In Their Urine

Weeds are a common nuisance in gardens and lawns, and many people reach for herbicides to keep them at bay. One of the most popular and effective weed killers is glyphosate, per WebMD. This chemical can be found in hundreds of herbicides, including RoundUp, manufactured by Bayer, which is the most widespread. Studies conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2020 deemed this chemical generally safe and not suspected to pose a health threat, reports U.S. News & World Report. However, the EPA has been court-ordered to reexamine glyphosate's safety, particularly with regard to its potential link to cancer in humans.

Primarily, the residue of it has been found on food, including soybeans, corn, grains, and some fruits, and vegetables, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, it's been discovered in soil and water, according to a 2021 study in the journal Foods. Now, new research shows that a startling number of Americans have it in their urine.

Glyphosate was in more than 80% of those surveyed

U.S. News & World Report reports that a study conducted by The U.S. National Nutrition Examination Survey found more than 80% of people living in the U.S. have detectable amounts of the herbicide in their urine. The organization examined the urine samples of 2,310 people and discovered glyphosate in 1,885 of those samples. Roughly one-third of samples with glyphosate in them were from kids between the ages of 6 and 18 years old.

Glyphosate is somewhat controversial because of its alleged health risks. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer determined that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic to humans." The organization based the findings on "limited" evidence of cancer in humans from actual exposure and "sufficient" evidence of cancer in animals based on experiments. Studies from 2015 showed an association between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in humans and animal studies. Bayer continues to deal with litigation from plaintiffs who allege glyphosate caused them to develop cancer, per U.S. News & World Report. However, the company has plans to reformulate Roundup without it, and only sell glyphosate to farmers and other professional services.