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Researchers Map Effect Of Popular Weed Killer Across Several Generations

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Researchers from Washington State University recently published a study about glyphosate and its adverse health effects across several generations.

Glyphosate is one of the key ingredients in weed killers and herbicide around the world. According to researchers, exposure to the compound will result in a variety of diseases to the second and third generations of the people exposed.

Dramatic Increases

Michael Skinner, a WSU professor of biological sciences, and his colleagues engaged in a clinical trial to see the effects of glyphosate on rats.

The researchers exposed pregnant rats to the herbicide between their eighth and 14th days of gestation, and the results showed no ill effects on either the parents or the first generation of offspring. However, a variety of diseases dramatically increased in the second to third generations of offspring.

In the second generation, Skinner and his colleagues saw "significant increases" in obesity, testis, ovary and mammary gland diseases. Meanwhile, the researchers saw a 30 percent increase in prostate disease in the third-generation males, and a 40 percent increase in kidney disease among females.

One-third of the second-generation mothers experienced unsuccessful pregnancies, and two out of five females and males in the third generation experienced obesity.

Generational Toxicology

Skinner and his team called the phenomenon "generational toxicology," and they've seen it before in other harmful chemicals as well such as pesticides, fungicides, the insect repellant DEET, jet fuel, the herbicide atrazine, and the plastics compound bisphenol A.

"The ability of glyphosate and other environmental toxicants to impact our future generations needs to be considered and is potentially as important as the direct exposure toxicology done today for risk assessment," says Skinner and his colleagues.

Skinner was not the first scientist to study glyphosate and its effects. Another University of Washington study was published in February this year detailing glyphosate's influence on increasing the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma by as much as 41 percent.

The University of Washington also published a study last December stating that state residents living close to areas subject to treatments with the herbicide are one-third more likely to die an early death from Parkinson's disease.

According to Skinner, glyphosate's generational toxicology shouldn't be taken lightly by the consumers. It's one of the most popular weed killers around the world, so everyone should be aware of all the risks they can be exposed to if they decide to purchase the chemical.

Carcinogenic Weed Killer

There are some claims stating that prolonged exposure to glyphosate could result in cancer. Animal and humans studies were evaluated by regulatory agencies in the United States, Australia, Japan, The European Union, and Canada, as well as the Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues of the United Nations and World Health Organization (WHO).

The following agencies studied the cancer rates among the laboratory animals who were fed with high doses of glyphosate, and the results stated that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic. Scientists working for the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the WHO, however, rejected the claim as their evaluations on fewer studies resulted in glyphosate's high probability of being carcinogenic.

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