For two weeks in June, we randomly fed study participants one week of organic foods and one week of conventional foods, and collected daily urine samples. Glyphosate levels decreased by about 25% between weeks of conventional and organic feeding for participants who lived farther from the fields. But for women who lived near fields, switching to organic food did not change their glyphosate levels.
For people living in cities, the results suggest that organic food may be the best way to reduce exposure to glyphosate. However, for people living near farms, exposure to nearby agricultural uses may be more important.
Still don’t know what
Our finding that living near agriculture is associated with higher levels of glyphosate in the body provides important new insights into who is exposed to this herbicide. However, we still do not know exactly how this expression occurs.
While many pesticides are transported by airborne drift, glyphosate can be transported in a different way. For example, it can stick to soil that is thrown or dragged into houses.
Understanding this is critical to reducing human exposure to chemicals in agricultural areas. This is also important as urbanization encroaches on formerly agricultural land. As new subdivisions and residential areas expand and fragment agricultural areas, homeowners are finding farm fields and their chemicals as neighbors.
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