Millions of Americans intentionally or unintentionally come into contact with Roundup weed killer every year. This herbicide is a popular choice to rid an area of unwanted weeds or vegetation, but the consequences of prolonged exposure can be deadly.
Some people are more at risk for long-term exposure. Those individuals typically work closely with the substance and are more likely to suffer from a related catastrophic diagnosis. In order to understand why this substance and its chemicals are so dangerous, let’s take a look at how prolonged exposure happens and what can happen to a person as a result.
The Dangers of Prolonged Exposure to Roundup
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), glyphosate, the primary active ingredient in Roundup weed killer, is probably carcinogenic in humans. Their evidence suggests a link between the chemical and cancerous tumors in mice and rats. Additionally, a laboratory study outlined the damaging effects of the chemical on DNA. Essentially, the weed killer can damage a person’s DNA, which can result in the formation of cancer.
The type of cancer most commonly associated with prolonged exposure to Roundup is non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). This cancer starts in white blood cells called lymphocytes, which are a part of the body’s immune system. While NHL is a term used for different types of lymphoma, they all share similar characteristics.
The type of NHL a person is diagnosed with is dependent upon which type of lymphocyte is affected. B-cells help protect the body against bacteria and viruses. The antibodies attach to the germs and mark them, so the immune system knows to destroy them. T-cells boost or slow the activity of the immune system cells depending on the presence of germs or abnormal cells. While NHL can develop in either, it’s most common in B-cells.
In addition to cancer of the lymphatic system, Roundup has been linked to several other cancers, including brain, breast, prostate, lung, and blood cancer.
Who Is Most at Risk for Roundup Exposure?
While anyone can be exposed to Roundup weed killer, the people most at risk of developing cancer are those who work with it on a daily basis. Common jobs that result in long-term exposure include:
- Agriculture workers
- Professional gardeners
- Pesticide and Herbicide Applicators
Even home gardeners are at risk for prolonged exposure if they regularly use the product to maintain their plants and gardens.
If you work in one of the positions above, or in a similar field where you were regularly exposed to glyphosate and you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, you may have grounds to file a Roundup weed killer lawsuit.
How Does Prolonged Roundup Exposure Happen?
Roundup exposure happens in one of three ways. The most common is to breath in the glyphosate through the nose or mouth. It’s also possible to eat food treated or contaminated with the chemical. While slim, there’s also the chance the herbicide could be absorbed through the skill.
When people eat food that’s been contaminated with Roundup or get the chemical on their skin, it’s likely these are only brief encounters. However, Monsanto also produces genetically modified seeds that are deemed “Roundup Ready.” This means that they’re designed to survive heavy applications of Roundup. Some of the country’s biggest brands, like Kellogg’s or Lays, use crops in their food that have been heavily exposed to glyphosate.
When someone works with the chemical every day, it’s more likely they’ll breathe it in, especially if they’re not wearing a dust mask or respirator. Breathing Roundup in over a long period of time can result in a serious medical diagnosis like cancer.
What to Do If You’ve Experienced Prolonged Exposure to Glyphosate
If you or someone you love was exposed to Roundup on a regular basis and received a cancer diagnosis, it’s important to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible. Research into the link between cancer and glyphosate is ongoing, so having a claim in the works now will ensure your evidence is based on the most current scientific facts and information.
Our attorneys are familiar with product liability claims and we have access to excerpts who can review your claim and offer their opinions as evidence to support your case. Your lawsuit could be based on Monsanto failing to properly research glyphosate, failing to warn consumers about the associated exposure risks, disregarding the probably risks, or disregarding the safety warning. To learn more about your legal rights and options, contact us today.