What Diseases Are Linked to Roundup

Roundup is the most commonly used weed killer used on farm crops and household lawns in the U.S. It has been linked to thousands of illnesses and diseases over the past several decades. If you have used or have been exposed to Roundup over the years, you should know what diseases are linked to Roundup and how to identify common symptoms of illnesses and diseases caused by this potent herbicide.

Glyphosate and Roundup

Roundup, marketed by Monsanto in the 1970s, is the brand name of the most widely used agricultural chemical in America. It’s a common weed killer used by Illinois farmers on corn, cotton, and soy crops, as well as gardeners and individuals on household lawns and gardens. As a glyphosate-based herbicide, Roundup kills weeds by inhibiting plants from producing essential proteins that are necessary for their growth.

What Is Glyphosate?

The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate, a non-selective, effective herbicide that is designed to kill most plants it comes in contact with. It targets certain enzymes that are essential for plant growth. Because of its potency and toxicity, Monsanto developed genetically engineered crops, known as ready crops, including alfalfa, corn, cotton, soybeans, and sorghum that were resistant to the effects of glyphosate. However, it is also used as an effective weed killer on non-ready crops including citrus crops, fruits and vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices, and sugarcane.

Most Common Uses of Roundup in Illinois

Roundup and other herbicides containing glyphosate have a high-rate of usage in Midwestern and Southern states, where farming plays a major role in the state economy. According to agricultural reports, Roundup and other weedkillers containing glyphosate are sprayed on nearly half of all corn and soybean crops grown in Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana. In Illinois, glyphosate spraying accounts for 15% of national usage because corn and soybeans make up the majority of the crops grown in the state. Illinois farmers have a high risk of exposure to glyphosate and should be aware of what diseases are linked to Roundup. Current data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that approximately 90% of corn, cotton, and soybean crops are genetically modified to tolerant glyphosate found in Roundup and other chemical treatments used by farmers.

Potential Health Risks Associated With Glyphosate Exposure

In 1974, glyphosate was registered as a pesticide in the United States by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Because of its wide-spread agricultural usage on food crops and among individuals, the EPA has continued to monitor the health effects of glyphosate on humans, animals, and insects.

In 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that the greatest potential exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides is among farmworkers and gardeners who receive daily exposure. The risk is also high for individuals who live near farms and manufacturing plants where glyphosate products are used regularly, contained at hazardous waste disposal sites, or dumped into containers or into the ground.

Over the last two decades, much of the debate about the safety of Roundup with glyphosate has centered around a potential link to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In 2001, scientific research showed a possible link to Roundup and this type of cancer. In 2019, an analysis conducted by the EPA showed a compelling link between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Several studies suggest that herbicides containing glyphosate have the potential to alter the gut microbiome and disrupt hormones in humans. According to a report from the University of Washington Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, exposure to glyphosate increases the risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma by as much as 41%.

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Since 2015, there have been thousands of injury lawsuits filed by product liability lawyers against Roundup for various types of illnesses and diseases, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer that starts in the lymphatic system. Since this is part of the body’s germ-fighting immune system, white blood cells can grow abnormally and form tumors throughout the body. Symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma may include the following:

  • Abdominal swelling or pain
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Night sweats or chills
  • Unexplained fever

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma symptoms are often vague, with persistent signs that something is wrong within the body. If you have been exposed to Roundup and are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to know what diseases are linked to Roundup and to see a doctor about your symptoms that may be linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Many recent advances in medical diagnosis and treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma have helped to improve the prognosis for people with this disease.

Respiratory Issues

Problems with the respiratory system are also linked to exposure to pesticides, including Roundup. The increasing rate of respiratory pathology since the 1980s, demonstrates an urgent need for better environmental policies and protocols surrounding contaminants like pesticides. Research shows that exposure to pesticides increases incidents of respiratory illnesses and diseases including asthma, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Symptoms of respiratory issues include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Dizziness
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Pneumonia
  • Lung cancer

Roundup is one of the pesticides that may be considered carcinogenic, with the ability to cause cancer in humans. Since it contains glyphosate, which is shown to cause health problems, it is listed on the World Health Organization (WHO) list of toxic herbicides and pesticides. To protect yourself, it’s important to understand the symptoms of Roundup poisoning.

Neurological Disorders

Roundup is also linked to several neurological disorders that lead to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Autism, Parkinson’s disease, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These disorders cause a variety of health problems including memory loss, deterioration of brain cells, loss of muscle control, and difficulty performing everyday tasks. ADHD often starts in childhood, and it can last well into adulthood.

Alternative Methods and Sustainable Practices

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization (WHO), labeled glyphosate as a probably human carcinogen. Since then, a lot of research has been done to determine the impact of Roundup on food products and people exposed to glyphosate through various types of contact in their jobs and in their homes.

Over the years, exposure to Roundup has been linked to thousands of personal injury lawsuits to recover damages for victims who ask “what is the average payout for a Roundup lawsuit?” The average payout can be as high as $250.000, depending on the injury victim’s diagnosis and prognosis for health problems caused by exposure.

Alternative Herbicides

Since health concerns have raised red flags about the safety of Roundup with glyphosate, alternative herbicides that are safer for humans have hit the market. Many product formulations containing acetic acid (vinegar) and various botanical oils are available through commercial and retail distributors. These products are non-selective and have contact action similar to fatty acid herbicides. They are effective on seedling annual broadleaf weeds but only burn the foliage of perennial weeds, large annual weeds, and grasses. These products are safe for human use, but users should avoid direct contact with eyes and skin, and avoid inhalation of fine sprays that may burn the nostrils.

Sustainable Farming and Gardening Practices

Sustainable farming and gardening practices are an option that eliminates harmful chemical products like Roundup. In addition to promoting health and safety, organic agricultural practices are intended to protect the environment, expand the Earth’s natural resource base, and maintain and improve soil fertility. Sustainable agriculture seeks to provide more profitable farm income, promote environmental stewardship, and enhance the quality of life for farming families and communities. To avoid dangerous products like Roundup with glyphosate, farmers, landscapers, and gardeners can now choose from a variety of safer, organic products in Illinois and other states.

In 2021, the Illinois General Assembly took big steps towards expanding Illinois sustainable farming and regenerative agriculture within the state. Thanks in large part to AFT members, supporters, and partners reaching out to their legislators, long-running funding cuts were reversed. Programs that support farmers who adopt conservation practices and funding for Soil and Water Conservation Districts doubled in size. These actions have big impacts in a state like Illinois, where on-farm conservation can play a huge role in not just reducing the impacts of climate change, but also protecting clean water and safeguarding the farmers’ bottom lines.

Like most states, Illinois promotes sustainable farming and gardening through outreach programs that provide education and grants in agricultural production systems that 1- maintain and enhance soil quality, 2- maintain and enhance the quality of groundwater, 3- conserve energy, water, and natural resources, 4- protect the health and safety of food and farmworkers, and 5- promote the safety of animals. In Illinois, sustainable agriculture grants are issued by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Chicago personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney Howard Ankin has a passion for justice and a relentless commitment to defending injured victims throughout the Chicagoland area. With decades of experience achieving justice on behalf of the people of Chicago, Howard has earned a reputation as a proven leader in and out of the courtroom. Respected by peers and clients alike, Howard’s multifaceted approach to the law and empathetic nature have secured him a spot as an influential figure in the Illinois legal system.

Years of Experience: More than 30 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois State Bar Association, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
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