The chemical glyphosate, the active ingredient in the widely used weed killer Roundup, has been detected in the bodies of children, a new study revealed. Glyphosate was listed in 2015 as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. Exposure to glyphosate has been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system.

Environmental watchdog Center on Environmental Health tested 12 families for glyphosate levels. Eleven of them tested positive for glyphosate, and in 10 of those families, the children had higher levels of the chemical in their bodies than their parents.

The study is a very small sampling, but it does raise red flags about the use of Roundup on crops and even playgrounds. Glyphosate can appear in people’s bodies after eating cereals and grains as well as being in playgrounds and parks where Roundup is sprayed, said Caroline Cox, senior scientist at the Center of Environmental Health. The group cited recent studies by other environmental groups that found glyphosate in 21 oat-based cereal and snack products including Cheerios.

Some families in Michigan and Cleveland have asked schools to stop spraying the chemical on their property due to health concerns.

Roundup was manufactured by Monsanto. In 2018, Bayer AG acquired Monsanto for $66 billion. Since then, more than 11,200 people have filed lawsuits against Bayer alleging that exposure to glyphosate in Roundup caused them to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Bayer has faced, and lost, three trials to date, including a case brought by a husband and wife who both developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The couple was awarded a startling $2.2 billion.

Beasley Allen is investigating cases involving non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma related to the commercial application of Roundup/glyphosate. For more information, contact John Tomlinson or Rhon Jones in our Toxic Torts Section.

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