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Med Pr. 2003;54(6):579-83.

[Glyphosate--a non-toxic pesticide?].

[Article in Polish]

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Katedry Biofizyki Skazeń Srodowiska Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego.


Glyphosate is currently the most commonly applied herbicide and its use is still growing. Nowadays, over 50 commercial preparations containing this compound are used, and these formulations are much more toxic than their active compound, glyphosate, owing to the presence of many surfactants and carrier compounds. Toxicological investigations provide evidence that glyphosate is an extremely "safe" herbicide for animals. This is why its use in agriculture is universal. In June 1991, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) categorized this compound into class E (according to EPA there are five categories of carcinogenicity), which means that it is probably not carcinogenic to humans. Unfortunately, the study carried out by Swedish oncologists in 2001 showed that glyphosate may induce cancer of the lymphatic system. The results of the Swedish study have changed our opinion about "safety" of this herbicide. Investigations concerning both its accumulation and toxic effect in animals and plants are now under way in many laboratories.

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