New research finds that glyphosate causes cell and DNA damage to epithelial cells derived from the inside of the mouth and throat.
It raises concerns over the safety of inhaling glyphosate, one of the most common ways in which people are exposed to the herbicide.
Siegfried Knasmueller and his colleagues the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, found that Monsanto’s formulated version of glyphosate called Roundup Ultra Max caused cellular damage and DNA damage including chromosomal abnormalities and ultimately killed the cells at higher concentrations.
Importantly, DNA damage occurred at concentrations below those required to induce cell damage, suggesting that the DNA damage was caused directly by glyphosate instead of being an indirect result of cell toxicity.
These are not the first findings of glyphosate-based herbicides’ cytotoxic and genotoxic effects. Numerous independent research teams have been documenting the hazards of glyphosate exposure over the last few years with in vivo, in vitro and clinical studies.
DNA damage was observed in blood samples from exposed residents in Argentina and Ecuador. Lab mice were found to harbor chromosomal and DNA damage in bone marrow, liver and kidney cells as well as lymphoid cells. Similar effects were found in non-mammalian species, including sea urchins, goldfish, eels, tilapia fish as well as the fruitfly.
These experiments show that glyphosate herbicides are dangerous for humans and many other animals.
Glyphosate is highly soluble in water, so impacts on aquatic wildlife may be of particular concern, especially following the recent report on the presence of glyphosate in rain water, groundwater, rivers and air. Its extreme toxic effects on amphibians such as frogs has already been shown (see Roundup Kills Frogs).
Cell damage has been documented in many cell types including those derived from the rat testis (see Glyphosate Kills Rat Testes Cells), human placenta, umbilical cord, and embryo (see Death by Multiple Poisoning, Glyphosate and Roundup), rat and carp neurones, and liver .