Glyphosate, the main ingredient in most week killers used in commercial agriculture and home lawn care certainly cuts down on pesky weeds, but does it come with too high a price? Given the attention that the chemical is getting because of alleged links to cancer, some believe it may not be worth it to mess around with the over 750 glyphosate-containing products, including Roundup, that many consumers use to combat weeds.
A federal jury ordered Monsanto – the makers of Roundup – to pay $80 million to a man with cancer. The jury found that Roundup was a substantial factor in his illness. A California superior court jury in San Francisco reached a similar verdict against Monsanto a year earlier in the case of a grounds keeper stricken by the very same cancer – non Hodgkin lymphoma – after heavy use of their glyphosate-containing products.
Although some claim that glyphosate poses no risk to humans, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer disagrees. It has called glyphosate a probable human carcinogen prompting the state of California to add it to its list of cancer causing chemicals. LA County announced last month its suspending use of glyphosate until more is known about the health effects. Jurisdictions in more than two dozen countries have banned its use and others have added restrictions.
A review led by the University of Washington found that agricultural workers who regularly use glyphosate have a 41 percent higher chance of contracting non Hodgkin lymphoma than those who used it infrequently of not at all. Although many people use weed killers in moderation, perhaps a spray here or there on a dandelion in the summer, widespread use in general has resulted in glyphosate getting into the water, food, and even the dust we breathe. With urine samples of a swatch of people across the U.S. revealing a 93% exposure to glyphosate residue, its anyone’s guess what impact that may have on everyone’s health as use of glyphosate-containing products increases in the coming years.
For now, the possible link to cancer has resulted in multiple claims against companies that sell products with glyphosate, with more expected to follow. Evidence is mounting that heavy exposures to the glyposate may very well increase the risk of developing deadly forms of cancer. If you or a family member has developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and believe that glyphosate may be the culprit, it is advisable to discuss your concerns with our experienced personal injury attorneys at McDonald, Woodward & Carlson PC at 563-355-6478.