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Many Chemicals Used in Agriculture May Induce Adverse Health Effects Including Cancer

Posted on 30th October, 2020

by Legal Staff

The biggest issues for both conventional and organic farmers is how to prepare the soil for seeding by clearing away and preventing weed competition and how to keep pests at bay.

Some herbicides come with known health risks but are still being used in parks, public spaces, and playgrounds. Researchers have uncovered evidence that some popular weedkilling products, like Monsanto's widely-used Roundup, could lead to the development of certain types of cancer.

These weed killers are commonly used in agriculture, leaving residues in food, feed, and drinking water, and deleterious effects on organisms and human health, both by their direct and indirect exposure.

  • Glyphosate

Currently, there are many varieties of glyphosate-based herbicide formulations available. Glyphosate is marketed as being safe for animals and humans, but over the years, regulatory agencies have evaluated its potential effects on the non-target organism. Exposure to glyphosate in lab animals resulted in neurotoxicity effects correlating with Parkinsonian pathology. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified the product as a "Group 2A" carcinogen, meaning that glyphosate herbicides may contribute to increased cancer risk.

  • Atrazine

Atrazine is in a group of man-made systemic herbicides called triazines used by farmers to control broadleaf weeds and grasses that interfere with the growth of corn, sorghum, sugar cane, and other crops. Previous research has provided evidence linking atrazine exposure to adverse reproductive outcomes in humans. In addition, the chemical has been linked to reproductive defects in fish and prostate and breast cancer in laboratory rodents. Epidemiological studies also suggest that atrazine is a human carcinogen linked to an elevated risk of breast and prostate cancer.

  • 2,4-D

Introduced nearly 70 years ago, 2,4-D is an herbicide used to control weeds in agriculture, landscaping, and forestry. Sold in various formulations under a wide variety of brand names, it is also in many products sold for home use. 2,4-D was also one of the ingredients in Agent Orange, the highly toxic defoliant used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. Some studies suggest that 2,4-D is a potential endocrine disruptor that can impede the normal action of estrogen, androgen, and most conclusively, thyroid hormones. A recent study also indicates that 2,4-D exposure may induce antibiotic resistance. Other studies have linked 2,4-D exposure to immune-system disorders and chronic neurological conditions, including Parkinson's disease.

  • Endothall

Endothall is an herbicide used to control a wide range of terrestrial and aquatic plants. Its toxicity as noted in animal studies ranges from dermal and eye irritation, respiratory failure and hemorrhaging of the gastrointestinal tract upon short-time exposure with high concentration to effects on the liver and kidney upon longer-term exposure. A limited number of studies have been conducted to address the carcinogenic potential of endothall. 10 male and 10 female rats were exposed to endothall in the diet at various concentrations for 2 years. Two of the treated rats had lung tumors. Nevertheless, based on the small sample size used for this systematic study and the lack of information obtained on tumor type and dose group, the statistical validity of these findings were not taken into consideration.

  • Paraquat

Paraquat is a highly toxic chemical that is widely used as an herbicide, primarily for weed and grass control. In the 1980s, the federal government used paraquat to kill the illegal cultivation of cannabis, also known as marijuana, even though the poison had been banned from national forests because of environmental concerns. Persons with lung conditions may be at increased risk from exposure to this chemical. Evidence also suggests that prolonged heavy smoking of marijuana contaminated with paraquat may cause lung irritation and scarring which induces genetic damage leading to DNA mutations with a resultant increase in the risk of lung cancer.

  • Diquat dibromide

Diquat is an herbicide and plant growth regulator that is often formulated with paraquat. The augmented toxicity of this compound is sufficient to raise serious human health concerns. The acute toxicity of diquat is observed at inhalation of the aerosol during the spraying of plants and the possibility for poisoning increases with repeated exposure.

If You've Developed Cancer After the Use of Roundup, Our Case Managers Are Here, Ready to Help

Were you exposed to the chemicals in Roundup weed killer? People engaged in agro-industry utilize herbicides, including farmers, groundskeepers, landscapers, and even people who simply want to upkeep their own garden, used this product. At Atraxia Law, we help individuals injured by defective products pursue full and fair compensation. Our firm has the experience and resources to consult with qualified experts to properly pursue your product liability case.

If you or a loved one have developed lymphoma, leukemia, or other forms of cancer after using Roundup weed killer, you may be entitled to file a claim which might result in financial compensation that can help you pay medical expenses, and restore some stability in your life. Get in touch with us now, and let us review your case and answer any questions you have.