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Exposure to Roundup Can Trigger the Development of Serious Kidney and Liver Problems

Posted on 24th September, 2020

by Legal Staff

Since 1974, people throughout the entire country have been using Roundup, a systemic herbicide that contains glyphosate, which was deemed a probable carcinogenic to humans by multiple national health agencies, such as the International Association for Research on Cancer. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the use of glyphosate in Roundup increased from 110 million pounds to 283 million pounds between 2002 and 2012, as weeds are becoming more resistant to it. The most common way of exposure to the glyphosate in Roundup is by inhalation or ingestion while you are using the herbicide. However, exposure can also occur when one consumes food that has been treated with Roundup. Although very effective in killing weeds, the product is very dangerous to our health, as exposure can lead to multiple serious diseases, including kidney and liver problems. However, it is important to keep in mind that several years after the first exposure must pass in order for a health issue to develop, as the glyphosate gradually causes damage to the organs it reached by inhalation or ingestion.

Nevertheless, there are a series of signs that you may have been exposed to a high dose of glyphosate, which usually occur immediately after exposure. These symptoms include:

  • eye irritation
  • nausea
  • skin irritation
  • vomiting
  • irritation in the nose and throat
  • diarrhea
  • increased salivation
  • burns in the mouth and throat
  • weakness
  • drowsiness
  • low blood pressure
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • abdominal cramps
  • difficulty breathing

It is worthy of note that these are rare cases, as people are usually exposed to low doses of glyphosate on a regular basis, which only causes health problems over the course of several years. Recent medical studies revealed that exposure to low-doses of the glyphosate in Roundup can lead to organ damage, primarily to liver and kidney damage. One of the studies examined rats that had been exposed to small amounts of glyphosate and discovered that the exposure affects the function of genes in the liver and kidneys.

Exposure to Roundup and Kidney Damage

According to scientists, kidney damage was observed to occur following the regular use of Roundup in a group of people in Sri Lanka who were growing rice. The press release of the American Association for the Advancement of Science stated that Sarath Gunatilake and Channa Jayasumana, both scientists from Sri Lanka, had "faced death threats and claims of research misconduct while working to determine the cause of a kidney disease epidemic that has claimed tens of thousands of lives in their home country of Sri Lanka and around the world". On social media, the opinion of the people ranged between defending the two scientists and requesting more solid evidence concerning the causal relation between glyphosate and chronic kidney disease. In 2019, Sarath Gunatilake and Channa Jayasumana were the recipients of the Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility.

Kidney disease was first reported in Sri Lanka workers who had been using Roundup in 1990, when several hundreds of individuals were diagnosed with kidney failure, even though none had the common trigger factors of diabetes or high blood pressure. The majority of the people who experienced kidney failure were male farmers between the ages of 30 and 60. It is noteworthy that the disease was asymptomatic in the early phases, with people only beginning to experience distressing symptoms when the condition was very advanced. The symptoms of kidney failure are the following:

  • decreased urinal output
  • fluid retention
  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue
  • confusion
  • nausea
  • weakness
  • irregular heartbeat
  • swelling in the feet, legs or ankles

However, the most comprehensive, multidisciplinary research project in Sri Lanka was conducted between 2011 and 2019 and concluded that there are multiple factors in addition to glyphosate that can lead to the development of kidney damage, including exposure to other toxic agents on the job, such as cadmium and arsenic. Selenium deficiency in the diet can also increase the risk of developing kidney damage in people who are regularly exposed to glyphosate.

Liver Damage and Roundup Exposure

A recent medical study conducted by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine revealed that a significant number of the animal models that had been exposed to glyphosate on a regular basis developed nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. In another research that was published in the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, a team of scientists led by Paul J. Mills, PhD, professor and chief in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine, glyphosate excretion in the urine samples of two patient groups, one diagnosed with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and the other without the condition, were examined. The results were very relevant, as regardless of age, body mass index or race, the level of glyphosate residue was significantly higher in patients with a damaged liver than in healthy individuals. Therefore, a causal relation between glyphosate exposure and liver damage may exist, as the amount of glyphosate we ingest with our food has increased considerably over the past 25 years.

The symptoms of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as of other types of liver damage, include the following:

  • pain in the right side of the abdomen
  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • unexplained weight loss
  • abdominal swelling
  • enlarged blood vessels
  • red palms
  • yellowing of the eyes and skin
  • enlarge spleen

If You Were Injured by Roundup, You Have the Right to File a Claim and Be Compensated

In the regrettable case that you have been using Roundup and subsequently came to struggle with kidney or liver damage, we will help you gather the necessary evidence and prepare your claim. However, we will first check whether you are eligible for taking legal action over the phone, a process that will take approximately 10 minutes. With over 35 years of professional experience, we have a transparent approach with every case we handle and we provide fast and efficient legal services.