Herbicides have long been known to negatively affect our environment. The chemicals used to destroy any unwanted vegetation can contaminate soil and run-off water and kill countless organisms such as insects, birds, and fish.
This month, though, a new study conducted by the Indiana University School of Medicine revealed how herbicide exposure during pregnancy could be detrimental.
Back in 2018, the research team conducted its first study of glyphosate– a chemical used to kill weeds often found in products like Roundup.
Glyphosate is used throughout the United States but much more heavily in the Midwest– where farmers spray soybeans and corn.
That initial study revealed that glyphosate levels were identified in ninety-three percent of pregnancies. Moreover, this exposure was associated with shorter pregnancy terms.
And now, the researchers’ most recent study has found glyphosate to be present in ninety-nine percent of pregnant women they observed in the Midwest.
Their findings also concluded that higher glyphosate levels were linked to lower birth weight and could possibly lead to a higher risk of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission.
To come to this conclusion, the team observed a group of one hundred and eighty-seven pregnant women from Indiana for several years.
They also collected urine samples during the women’s first trimesters– which revealed that only one woman did not have glyphosate in their urine.