A significant percentage of Americans are worried about pesticide contamination in the environment. While being concerned is a good thing, most are unaware that even less apparent chemicals can affect the environment, particularly their drinking water. One of these chemicals is glyphosate. What is glyphosate contamination in water? Glyphosate is a herbicide used in lawn and garden care. You can ingest this chemical by drinking water contaminated by it. You may not get sick immediately, but it can affect your health down the line. Here is what you need to know about glyphosate contamination.
Where Is Glyphosate Used?
Here are the areas where this chemical is commonly used.
- Forestry: In forest application, glyphosate is used for controlling weeds, particularly in tree nurseries, to give the young trees more room to grow
- Agriculture: It is also used for weed control in agriculture
- Lawn and garden care: You can get rid of weeds in your lawn or garden using glyphosate
- Aquatic settings: Used in drainage channels and ditches.
Potential Effects of Glyphosate
On human health, the effects will depend on the amount that one has been exposed to. Other factors like an individual’s health can also contribute. The potential health effects of the herbicide on humans are still being investigated. However, in animals, glyphosate has been found to cause several issues, like low birth weight. Long-term ingestion can also contribute to gastrointestinal issues. Individuals that come into direct contact with the chemical can experience a burning or stinging sensation in their eyes or skin irritation. Consuming large amounts of glyphosate can lead to nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Certain studies have shown that glyphosate is slightly toxic to birds, while others show that it reduces mortality in bees. Even if bees do not die from this compound, their ability to produce honey can be affected.
Potential Exposure to Glyphosate
You can get exposed to this chemical through drinking water. Is glyphosate contamination in water bad? As stated, even though the health risk is low, there is still a risk. You can also get exposed to glyphosate through your food as it is used in agricultural applications. However, according to EPA, the risk of chronic exposure through food is very low.
Another way to get exposed to glyphosate is if you use it on your garden or lawn. You might inhale it, or it can get into contact with your skin.
How Does Glyphosate Get Into Water
When glyphosate is applied to plants, some of it seeps into the soil and can be carried through soil erosion to water supplies such as streams.
How To Protect Your Family
Here are a few measures you can take to protect your loved ones from the threat of glyphosate.
- Educate yourself
- Reduce exposure by handling glyphosate safely
- Use water filters
While it may be hard to control what agricultural or forestry organizations near you are doing, you can ensure you are drinking safe water. Royal Water Works, Inc. offers different water treatment services for customers. Give us a call today, and we will come to test your water. If it has any contaminants, we will take measures such as water filtration, ensuring that you only use safe water.
Categorised in: Water Pollution