As the global population increases, so does the demand for food. This necessity for crop production has brought about the excessive use of agrochemicals. Pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides have become the norm in the cultivation lands. But, a farmer got to do what a farmer got to do!
Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide for killing weeds. In fact, on its own glyphosate cannot work. It mixes with other surfactants to be active in killing the plants to give tremendous results. But besides the excellent effects, glyphosate’s overuse can harm the environment, humans and animals included. Read on.
Glyphosate Effects on Humans and Animals
Glyphosate, the most popular herbicide globally, has a lot of debate about why and how it’s toxic to humans. But first, a summary will bring you up to speed to determining the negativity of glyphosate. Stay with me, will you?
As a product of the Monsanto Company, under the market name RoundUp, glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide. As a weed killer, this means it gets into the plant’s system from the roots to the leaves or leaves to the roots. However, it does not affect the seeds germinating in the soil. After application, glyphosate stays for up to 197 days in the ground or 91 days in the water. Read on.
Glyphosate is the least toxic among other herbicides. However, recent studies show that it can have adverse health effects on humans. So, when scientists research to determine whether certain chemicals are harmful or not, they perform three types of testing;
- Animal studies
- Mechanistic studies
- Epidemiological studies
These are case studies on rats and mice all of the same age for 18-24 months. The controls enter the survey with those exposed to low-medium-high doses of glyphosate. After the period is through, the controls and exposé are examined for any changes and tumors.
Below is a list of animal studies with glyphosate as a source of cancer.
- The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) evaluating risk data on glyphosate linked it in 2015 as a class 2A carcinogen (possible to generate human cancer). After research, the study of mice found that exposure to glyphosate increases the possibility of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) and multiple myeloma (MM) by approximately 41%.
- The relation between Roundup, genetically modified organism (GMO) corn and cancer was discovered by a French study. This study examined the lasting significance of exposure to Roundup. Nevertheless, this study is essentially an ongoing harmful study and not a cancer study. The outcomes establish that long-lasting exposure to GMO corn and Roundup can create a proof of carcinogenesis that may not appear in brief studies (90-day).
- The Scientists from a 2010 mouse study established that glyphosate is a cancer booster. That is to say, if cancer cells already exist, glyphosate stimulates the growth of those cancer cells and causes tumors to grow more rapidly.
- In 1983, an unpublished mouse study, which was rendered to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by Monsanto, indicated that exposure to glyphosate was connected with a measure reliant on an increase in kidney cancer (renal carcinomas). However, the reason why it did not publish is that Monsanto overturned the discoveries of the study. This led to Monsanto declining EPA appeals to perform a second test that probably might have verified the link.
This type of study involves examining how chemicals affect the cells of both animals and humans. The scientists look for proof showing how glyphosate is damaging humans and animals’ cells, causing cancer and other diseases. In other words, this is looking for disruption of DNA by glyphosate.
The studies below show various results of mechanical breakdowns.
- The effect of pesticides containing glyphosate on the DNA of a type of white blood cell (lymphocytes) may cause various DNA damages that can result in cancer, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This came after a study published in 2017.
- The “gut microbiome” plays a very significant role in human health. Inequities in the gut microbiome have ties to a developing intestinal disorder epidemic containing several disorders and illnesses, such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and even anxiety and depression. In this study, researchers established that Roundup-generated differences in the “gut microbiome” of rats are positively related to similar human gut purpose changes.
- This study found that glyphosate drives breast cancer explosion. These scientists compared glyphosate’s influence on both hormone-independent and hormone-dependent breast cancer cell lines. They established that the glyphosate herbicide boosts hormone-dependent cancer cell lines in “low and environmentally related applications.”
The Epidemiological studies comprised of both cohort and case-control studies.
In a cohort study, scientists begin with an exposed group of people and another similar unexposed group. The exposed group exposes to a chemical element that accelerates the risk of a specific disease. The researchers then do a follow-up to see any changes between exposed and unexposed groups.
Conversely, the case-control study involves examining individuals with the disease compared to those who do not have the disease (controls). Researchers try to define whether those with the disease got the specific chemical more often than the controls with the use of questionnaires. This information will determine whether that chemical is causing a more significant risk of the disease.
Check out some of the epidemiology studies below that link glyphosate to non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
- According to a 2019 study, researchers reported a “compelling link” exposure between herbicides with glyphosate like Roundup and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
- In a 2014 study, two scientists issued the results of their examination of approximately thirty years of epidemiological research. They found substantial relations between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Therefore, the authors called for more study to define which NHL subtypes most intensely connected with exposure to pesticides.
- This pesticide study delivered extra support to the primary research that related glyphosate exposure to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The Individuals exposed to Roundup for over ten days had a substantial 2.36 times higher degree of NHL than persons not exposed to Roundup.
However, this grouping reaction is biased: The agribusiness is dynamic in its disapproval, while other specialists agree with IARC’s classification.
Also, according to another study, pregnant farmworkers experienced pregnancy issues. The study showed that Roundup is toxic to human placental cells (JEG-3 cells) after 18 hours of exposure in low concentrations. The risks advanced as the concentration increased. What’s more?
RoundUp is more active than glyphosate and hence toxic after like 20 minutes of short exposure of spraying. This means that inhaling RoundUp could cause DNA harm to farmworkers.
Effects of Glyphosate on Plants on Humans
Crops are now probable to have more deposits of glyphosate. How?
Glyphosate causes other poisonous effects that receive relatively little study or consideration by government organizations. This is mostly true for glyphosate as a chelant, where the chemical either raises plant harmfulness or lessens the plant’s micronutrient absorption. The experts clarify the hazards that Roundup and parallel preparations present to buyers who might swallow these plants.
Glyphosate and Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is a continuous nervous system syndrome that affects mobility. Symptoms start slowly, sometimes beginning with a hardly visible quiver in just one hand. Shivers are usual, but the condition also regularly causes rigidity or slackening of movement. Read on.
In the initial phases of Parkinson’s disease, your face shows little or no appearance. Your arms may fail to swing when you walk. Also, your speaking may become soft or inaudible. Parkinson’s disease symptoms deteriorate as your condition grows over time.
Although Parkinson’s disease has no cure, prescriptions might considerably refine your symptoms. Sometimes, your doctor may propose surgery to control certain parts of your brain and better your symptoms.
Parkinson’s disease originates from the breaking down or death of (neurons) specific nerve cells in the brain. Many symptoms are because of the loss of neurons that create dopamine, a chemical courier in your mind. When dopamine levels drop, it forms irregular brain action. This eventually leads to damaged movement and other indications of Parkinson’s disease.
However, the exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is unidentified, but many aspects seem to play a part, for instance:
Genes: Scientists define that particular genetic modifications can cause Parkinson’s disease. But then again, these are rare except for unusual cases with several family members affected by Parkinson’s disease. Conversely, other gene variants seem to give rise to Parkinson’s disease’s risk but with a reasonably small threat of Parkinson’s disease for either of these genetic markers.
Environmental causes: Exposure to some pollutants (pesticides and herbicides) or environmental elements may escalate the risk of future Parkinson’s disease; however, it is somewhat small.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease signs and symptoms can vary with individuals. Primary signs may be minor and go undetected. Symptoms regularly originate on one side of your body and generally continue being worse on that side, even after symptoms start to affect both sides.
These signs and symptoms may include:
Tremor: Shaking typically starts in a limb, a lot on your hand or fingers. You may feel a pill-rolling tremor, which feels like rubbing your thumb back and forth. Again, your hand may continue to tremble even when at rest.
Slackened movement (bradykinesia): After some time, Parkinson’s disease may delay your workout, making effortless tasks hard and long. Your steps may become smaller when you stroll, dragging your feet. Also, it may be challenging to get out of a chair.
Stiff muscles: Muscle rigidity may arise in whichever part of your body. The firm muscles can be sore and restrict your kind of motion.
Weakened posture and balance: You might develop a bent posture, or you may have balance complications as an effect of Parkinson’s disease.
Loss of reflex movements: You may experience a reduced ability to make unconscious actions, for example, smiling, flickering, or swinging your arms when you walk.
Speech deviations: You may have changes in your speech, such as quickly, softly, hesitate before speaking, or slur. Your speech may sound more like a drone rather than have the familiar nuances.
Writing changes: You may experience difficulty in writing and your handwriting appearing smaller than the usual size.
Risk aspects of Parkinson’s disease consist of:
Age: Young adults seldom experience Parkinson’s disease. It usually starts in intermediate or late-life; hence the risk rises with age. Approximately 60 and above tend to show signs and develop the condition more than other young ages.
Genetics: in case you have a close relative with Parkinson’s disease, your chances of contracting the disease increase. Though, your possibilities are still minor lest you have several relatives in your family who have Parkinson’s disease.
Gender: Men tend to get Parkinson’s disease more than women.
Contact to toxins: Constant exposure to toxins from herbicides and pesticides may, to some extent, surge your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
Since the cause of Parkinson’s is mysterious, confirmed ways to inhibit the disease also stay unknown.
Individual research shows that regular aerobic exercise or Zumba might decrease the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Several other researches show that individuals, who drink caffeine in coffee, tea, and cola, acquire Parkinson’s disease not often than those who don’t consume it. Also, there is a link between Green tea and reduced risks of getting Parkinson’s disease.
Nonetheless, it is still unknown if caffeine indeed guards against getting Parkinson’s, or if there is a relationship in another way. At present, there is not adequate proof to propose caffeinated drinking beverages to defend against Parkinson’s.
What’s The Link between Glyphosate and Parkinson’s disease?
According to a 2018 study, individuals exposed to glyphosate have a greater risk of 33% early death from Parkinson’s.
A summary of the research stated that the excessive exposure of glyphosate globally might give rise to the start of PD later in life. Moreover, it would be better if adults pay more attention to glyphosate exposure. Read on.
Direct exposure of glyphosate comes through application and handling, and indirectly through deposit in food or pollution of drinking water. Therefore the risks such as work-related pesticide exposure, agriculture, well water drinking, and domestic pesticide usage are associated with higher degrees of Parkinson’s disease.
Nevertheless, you can avoid exposure to glyphosate in the following ways;
- Eating organic food as much as possible
- Avoid usage of glyphosate products in lawns or home gardens
- Heeding to water quality
- Encouraging farmworker protective gears
Generally, everything beneficial has a downside. But it is your responsibility to do thorough scrutiny of most chemicals before use. Find out their impact on you and your household. Also, there are safer ways of solving a particular problem instead of opting for quick and controversial methods.
Prevention is better than cure, always.