Glyphosate is an herbicide that is often applied to the leaves of plants and crops to kill grasses and weeds. Glyphosate in its sodium salt form may be used to manage and regulate growth or ripen fruit. In 1974, it was registered for use in the United States, and it is one of the most widely used herbicides in the nation. Farmers apply glyphosate to agriculture while everyday people use it on their gardens and lawns. It is highly effective in killing grasses, broadleaf, and wood plants. However, it could be doing harm to our health and environment too. Studies reveal the exposure of glyphosate and other chemicals that farmers use on crops may cause these health issues.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)
In some farming environments, there has been a link between attention deficit disorder (ADHD) and glyphosate exposure. It may affect the functions of the thyroid gland and result in ADHD.
There may be a link to Alzheimer’s and other brain deficiencies with excessive amounts of exposure to glyphosate and other similar chemicals.
Birth Defects in Infants
Studies have been conducted to analyze the effects of glyphosate on babies born to women living within 1,000 meters of toxic pesticide applications. In the studies, researchers found that babies may experience the absence of parts of the brain, skull, or scalp when mothers are exposed to glyphosate. Glyphosate can affect the function of Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is vital for the normal development of fetuses.
Women living near fields which are sprayed with glyphosate are more likely to have birth defects as compared to women who do not live near these toxic environments. A study involving a United States farming family revealed that elevated levels of glyphosate can cause birth defects that created an imperforated anus, heart defects, and growth hormone deficiencies.
Autism in Children
Exposure to glyphosate has been linked autism. The toxicity of glyphosate, along with its capabilities to encourage the accumulation of aluminum in the brain may be a major factor in the cause of autism in children.
Breast Cancer and Tumors
A long-term study utilizing rats revealed that glyphosate exposure can produce mammary tumors and shorten the life of animals exposed to this toxin. Glyphosate can make human breast cancer cells grow.
Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance in Fish
Fish that have been exposed to glyphosate experienced digestive disorders that are similar to celiac disease. The presence of glyphosate may cause imbalances in gut bacteria, as well as impairments in enzymes.
The presence of glyphosate affects the chemical process that influences the production of serotonin, which regulates sleep patterns, mood swings, and appetite. When serotonin is impaired it can lead to depression.
Cardiovascular and Heart Disease
Glyphosate can impair the body’s enzymes resulting in lysosomal dysfunction which may lead to cardiovascular disease and heart problems.
Reproductive and Fertility Problems
Studies involving laboratory animals reveal that male rats exposed to high amounts of glyphosate may experience reproductive problems, which may include delayed puberty, as well as a decrease in testosterone and sperm production. In women, glyphosate can cause infertility, miscarriages, stillbirths and other pregnancy problems.
These are just a few health issues that may occur due to the exposure to glyphosate. While it might be good at killing grass and weeds, it could also be impacting our health in detrimental ways at the same time.