Even if you have never purchased Roundup for personal lawn care use, its main ingredient, glyphosate, has been used on crops in American farmlands since 1974, being sprayed on things consumers purchase, eat, and wear.
According to the World Health Organization, over 1.4 billion pounds of this herbicide are being sprayed on America's agricultural land every year--almost all corn, soy, wheat, and cotton grown in the United States have been sprayed with this it. Monsanto, the company that invented the herbicide has even gone as far as to genetically modify crops so they can tolerate higher doses of Roundup, hence its Roundup brand. They defend the use of their product with their own research, case studies, and scientific findings.
Not only has the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogenic to humans, but it also has many other health concerns associated with its exposure.
So even if one answers “Yes” to the question “Is Roundup too dangerous to use,” it’s too late. Consumers have already been exposed to it. Below are a few other possible health concerns associated with exposure to Roundup/glyphosate.
Other Possible Health Concerns with Roundup/Glyphosate
Birth defects-According to a study in Paraguay, women living within one kilometer of fields sprayed with glyphosate were twice as likely to bear children with birth defects. Deformities also quadrupled during the past decade in Chaco, Argentina, where the herbicide is used eight to ten times more per acre than in the US. This happens due to Roundup/glyphosate disrupting Vitamin A signaling the pathway which is vital for normal fetal development.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease-Research shows that Roundup/glyphosate is impacting gut microbiota destroying beneficial bacteria and strengthening detrimental bacteria. It causes major tryptophan deficiency leading to excessive bleeding and diarrhea.
Depression-The good bacteria in human guts are responsible for synthesizing and creating all the serotonin in human brains and strengthening immune systems. If those bacteria are not producing serotonin, humans are in trouble. Low levels of serotonin can lead to depression and even schizophrenia.
Parkinson’s disease-The brain-damaging effects of herbicides like Roundup/glyphosate have been recognized as the main environmental factor correlated with brain disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. Many studies have proven that Roundup/glyphosate influences the cell death characteristic of the disease.
Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)-The lack of sulfate in the brain has been associated with ALS. Roundup/Glyphosate disrupts the transport of sulfate from the gut to the liver and over time may lead to severe sulfate deficiency throughout all tissues, including the brain.
Heart disease-When sprayed on soil, Roundup/glyphosate increases the amount of toxins made by fungal organisms. These mycotoxins, or molds, raise cholesterol levels when treated foods are consumed. Roundup/Glyphosate also disrupts vitamin D activation in the liver and kidneys causing blood to coagulate and red blood cells to fall apart.
Alternatives to Roundup/glyphosate
Brett Helms, Lawn Kings of Georgia uses orange oil. This is a natural acid that kills weeds and is biodegradable. Mix half a cup of orange oil with 1 quart of water and spray directly on weeds. Spray on a sunny day to maximize the weed killing potential.
Jack Lopresto with Prestoscapes in Tampa, Florida uses horticultural strength vinegar oil. Commercial strength vinegar can kill your weeds and is also biodegradable. Far less toxic than commercial formulas but make sure you only spot treat because this can kill grass as well.
Bryan Isaac with Isaacs Lawn Care in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee uses all EcoSmart Products. These products rely on food grade plant oils, like cloves oil, to kill weeds. None of the ingredients are considered toxic to humans.
So what’s the average consumer to do? In addition to the use of alternative products, he or she should put the question in perspective. The biggest health risks are posed by roundup/glyphosate use in agricultural settings. Personal lawn care dosages are normally too low to have any negative impact particularly when warning labels are heeded. The information presented here should help keep consumers arrived at an informed decision.