Roundup, Glyphosate, and Cancer: What You Need to Know
Carcinogens, or cancer-causing agents, are not to be taken lightly. But what happens when some of the common chemicals in our households are also threats to our health, or possibly our lives? Glyphosate, a common herbicide that is applied to the leaves of plants, is one such product. Along with killing weeds, it is also used as a plant growth regulator and to speed up the ripening process of certain crops. This means that it can be found in not only your gardening shed in the form of popular weed-killers like Roundup, but also in the tomatoes you bought at the grocery store that were “ripened” en route to your local market.
Does Glyphosate Cause Cancer?
According to a new analysis, glyphosate “raises the cancer risk of those exposed to it by 41%.” In fact, research has shown that exposure to glyphosate “significantly increases the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a cancer of the immune system.” While this research seems definitive and the 41% cancer risk seems much too high to ignore, the cancer risks associated with glyphosate are a hotly debated scientific topic with scientists on the academic and industry sides of the debate coming to very different conclusions. Bayer, the parent company of Monsanto, said in 2018 that glyphosate is a “safe and efficient weed control tool.” The people whose lives have been so adversely affected by this product disagree.
The lawsuits surrounding the chemical suggest that we are just now starting to understand the ramifications of exposure to glyphosate in products like Roundup. For example, Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, who worked as a school groundskeeper, was awarded $289 million in damages (this was eventually reduced to around $78 million after Monsanto appealed) after he was diagnosed with terminal non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2018. A California couple, Alva and Alberta Pilliod, were awarded more than $2 billion in damages after both were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The couple had used Roundup for decades. Both of these cases uncovered that “Monsanto covered up evidence [of Roundup’s] health risk for decades.” Bayer is now facing tens of thousands of lawsuits similar to those of Dewayne Johnson and the Pilliods.
How Much Glyphosate is Too Much Glyphosate?
It is important to note that both the Johnson and the Pilliod cases involved the development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma after prolonged use of Roundup. However, scientists are still on the tip of the iceberg in terms of determining how much exposure to glyphosate causes cancer. In order to protect your health, it’s important to do the research and acknowledge the risk of products containing this chemical. You can be exposed to glyphosate through the skin or by inhalation. If you must use it as an herbicide, consider wearing gloves and a face mask to avoid any contact, and always keep it far out of reach from children.
Humans are not the only ones who risk exposure to glyphosate. The National Pesticide Information Center warns that “pets might be at risk if they touch or eat plants that are still wet with spray from products containing glyphosate. Animals exposed to products with glyphosate may drool, vomit, have diarrhea, lose their appetite, or seem sleepy.” It is clear that this chemical can severely affect your pets if you allow them to be exposed to it after initial application.
Taking A Risk
While using glyphosate to eradicate dandelions or other pesky weeds in your garden might seem like an easy choice, the cost of usage could outweigh the benefits, especially if you are using it for a prolonged amount of time. If you or someone you know have experienced health deterioration or cancer after using glyphosate, please reach out to the Marks Law Group immediately at 404-724-5039. Our knowledgeable lawyers will go above and beyond to make sure that you receive the justice you deserve.