Weed killer Roundup contains ingredient that can kill human cells, say researchers
(NaturalHealth365) Roundup has been a top-selling weed killer since its release in the 1970s. Numerous studies have connected its active ingredient, glyphosate, with a number of serious health problems – especially to the unborn child. More recently, it’s been found that one of the so-called “inert” ingredients in Roundup could be making the effects of glyphosate much worse.
“Inert” ingredients refer to preservatives, surfactants, solvents and other substances that are added to herbicides and pesticides. About 4,000 different inert ingredients have been approved for addition to weed killer products like Roundup by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
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Not all so-called “inert” ingredients in Roundup are inert
Research conducted by a French team associated with the University of Caen shows that certain inert ingredients can have the effect of amplifying the toxicity of glyphosate on human cells. One specific inert ingredient, POEA (polyethoxylated tallowamine), was particularly deadly to human placental, umbilical cord and embryonic cells.
These findings indicates that the so-called inert ingredients in Roundup weed killer are far from inert. This effect occurred even at concentrations of the herbicide that were considerably more diluted than what is typically used. Even at residual levels on lawns, gardens and crops, these chemicals could be causing major cellular damage.
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POEA in Roundup weed killer makes effects of glyphosate much worse
Researchers are concerned that exposure to Roundup weed killer could cause problems with pregnancies, hormones and fetal development. This could in turn lead to birth defects, low birth weights, miscarriages and other abnormalities.
Roundup’s manufacturer Monsanto contends that the study’s methods do not reflect realistic usage of their product. They maintain that Roundup is safe when used as directed. Yet, hundreds of studies have been done on Roundup – since the 1980s regarding the risks of glyphosate – and many indicate a higher cancer risk due to exposure.
The EPA does not believe glyphosate poses toxicity risks when it is used at the recommended doses. Also, the EPA and United States Department of Agriculture consider POEA a ‘harmless inert ingredient.’ However, the current study results indicate the need for these health agencies to reconsider their policies, especially when glyphosate and POEA are combined in the same product.
Ignored reality: Glyphosate in weed killer linked to cancer and birth defects
According to the EPA, Roundup is the most widely used weed killer in the U.S. Around 100 million pounds of it are applied to lawns and farms annually. This is despite many studies from around the world connecting glyphosate to birth defects and cancer.
Argentinian scientists and activists called for a ban on the herbicide after noticing higher incidents of these health issues near areas where the weed killer was sprayed. Argentina is one of the world’s biggest exporters of soy. Additionally, a 2014 meta-analysis found that exposure to weed killer doubled the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Most health studies about Roundup have been focused only on glyphosate rather than its other components. Clearly, more research is needed on the toxic cocktail of ingredients contained in this and similar weed killers. Lastly, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to do more long-term studies (beyond the usual 90 day time period) – so, we could really see the results.
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