Toxin Profiles

Substance Name

glyphosate
Identification Number: CASRN | 1071-83-6

  Nastiness Attributes


  • Known Human Carcinogen

    This is a serious nasty substance. Exposure to this substance leads to cancer in Humans. Exercise extreme caution with this substance, explore your exposure routes and very seriously consider complete avoidance. See further details under Toxins.

  • Bio-accumulates in humans

    Different toxins get stored in different body tissues for different lengths of time. Many accumulate in fat. Careful then when you loose weight.

  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.

    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Toxic to Wildlife

    May kill plants, fish, birds or other animals and insects or may be very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects. This then effects delicate environmental ecology and food supply in ways we don't fully understand yet.


  • CATEGORIES: Herbicide | PESTICIDE active ingredient | organic | herbicide | Pesticide or Plant Growth Regulator Approved in Australia | Pesticide approved in USA (California) | Pesticide approved or pending approval in EU | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Pesticide | Herbicide
  • SYNONYMS: 3433 [GLYPHOSATE ISOPROPYLAMINE] (salt), N-(Phosphonomethyl)glycine, Glyphosphate, Glycine, N-(phosphonomethyl)-, Roundup, Pondmaster
  • DESCRIPTION: Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide registered for use on many food and non-food field crops as well as non-crop areas where total vegetation control is desired. When applied at lower rates, glyphosate also is a plant growth regulator. Glyphosate's production may result in its release to the environment through various waste streams; it's use as a broad spectrum non-selective, post-emergent herbicide, will result in its direct release to the environment. Glyphosate is among the most widely used pesticides by volume. It ranked eleventh among conventional pesticides used in the U.S. during 1990- 91. In recent years, approximately 13 to 20 million acres were treated with 18.7 million pounds of glyphosate annually. The largest use sites include hay/pasture, soybeans and field corn. /Glyphosate and its salts (2006) Control of annual and perennial grasses and broad-leaved weeds, pre-harvest, in cereals, peas, beans, oilseed rape, flax and mustard, at 1.5-2 kg/ha; control of annual and perennial grasses and broad-leaved weeds in stubble and post-planting/pre-emergence of many crops; as a directed spray in vines and olives, at up to 4.3 kg/ha; in orchards, pasture, forestry and industrial weed control, at up to 4.3 kg/ha. As an aquatic herbicide, at 2 kg/ha. Foliar applied, translocated herbicide that may be applied to over 150 crops for control of annual and perannual weeds, woody brush, and trees. Occupational exposure may occur through inhalation of aerosols or dermal contact with this compound at workplaces where it is produced or used as a herbicide. Occupational workers and home gardeners may be exposed to glyphosate by inhalation and dermal contact during spraying, mixing, and cleanup. They may also be exposed by touching soil and plants to which glyphosate was applied. Dermal exposure may also occur during glyphosate's manufacture, transport, storage, and disposal. TERRESTRIAL FATE: The half-life of glyphosate applied to forest foliage was 14.4 days(1) and that applied to two Finnish agricultural fields were 69 and 127 days, respectively(2). Persistence studies with glyphosate in sandy test sites in a boreal forest in Ontario, Canada indicate that the half-life of glyphosate was 24 days and residues were reduced to <10% of that applied after 78 days(3). More than 95% of residues were found in the upper organic layer of soil. In aerially treated forest brush fields in the Oregon coast range, the half-life of glyphosate ranged from 10.4-26.6 days in foliage and litter. The half-life of glyphosate on exposed soil and litter-covered soil was 40.2 and 29.2 days, respectively(4). [(1) Willis GH, McDowell LL; Rev Environ Contam Toxicol 100: 23-73 (1987) (2) Muller MM et al; Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 27: 724-30 (1981) (3) Roy DN et al; J Agric Food Chem 37: 437-40 (1989) (4) Newton M et al; J Agric Food Chem 32: 1144-51 (1984)] **PEER REVIEWED**
  • COMMENTS: Residues of this pesticide are tested for on Australian Foods | Pitfalls to management include the fact that glyphosate containing herbicides may contain many other chemicals/substances that can cause severe symptoms, especially respiratory failure and arrest and potentially renal failure as well. | Pesticide approved in Australia

    From Safe Work Australia and the Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) in Australia: Causes serious eye damage. Toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects | Environmental Hazard | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace. Check with your employer or health and safety officer. Stay informed and become aware of the dangers that surround you. This chemical is included on the list of recognised hazardous chemicals from the Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) that is based on the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)

    Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations are the basis for hazardous chemicals regulations in Commonwealth, State and Territory jurisdictions in Australia. Under the model WHS Regulations, manufacturers and importers of substances, mixtures and articles supplied for use in workplaces are required to determine whether they are hazardous to health and safety before supply. The model WHS Regulations mandate that the hazards of a chemical as determined by the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) must be included in safety data sheets and on labels. There are transitional arrangements in place for moving to the GHS-based system.

    The GHS Hazardous Chemical Information List contains chemicals classified by an authoritative source (such as the European Commission or NICNAS) in accordance with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (the GHS). This list contains the vast majority of chemicals currently in HSIS. This list and its detail are regularly updated by Work Safe Australia. The model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations require chemicals to be classified in accordance with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). However transitional arrangements allow use of classification information in HSIS derived from the Approved Criteria until the 31 December 2016.

  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: C3-H8-N-O5-P
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: ARTICLE 4 | PubChem | Consolidated Pesticide Information Dataset (CPI) from the USA EPA | Compendium of Pesticide Common Names | APVMA | DPR | EU Pesticides | Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS)
  • LAST UPDATE: 11/05/2015

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS:
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: IN APRIL 2015... "Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide, currently with the highest production volumes of all herbicides. It is used in more than 750 different products for agriculture, forestry, urban, and home applications. Its use has increased sharply with the development of genetically modified glyphosate-resistant crop varieties.

    Glyphosate has been detected in air during spraying, in water, and in food. There was limited evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of glyphosate. Case-control studies of occupational exposure in the USA, Canada, and Sweden reported increased risks for non-Hodgkin lymphoma that persisted after adjustment for other pesticides.

    The AHS cohort did not show a significantly increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In male CD-1 mice, glyphosate induced a positive trend in the incidence of a rare tumour, renal tubule carcinoma. A second study reported a positive trend for haemangiosarcoma in male mice. Glyphosate increased pancreatic islet-cell adenoma in male rats in two studies. A glyphosate formulation promoted skin tumours in an initiation-promotion study in mice.

    Glyphosate has been detected in the blood and urine of agricultural workers, indicating absorption. Soil microbes degrade glyphosate to aminomethylphosphoric acid (AMPA). Blood AMPA detection after poisonings suggests intestinal microbial metabolism in humans. Glyphosate and glyphosate formulations induced DNA and chromosomal damage in mammals, and in human and animal cells in vitro. One study reported increases in blood markers of chromosomal damage (micronuclei) in residents of several communities after spraying of glyphosate formulations. Bacterial mutagenesis tests were negative. Glyphosate, glyphosate formulations, and AMPA induced oxidative stress in rodents and in vitro. The Working Group classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans" (Group 2A)."

    REF: www.thelancet.com/oncology, Carcinogenicity of tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate, Kathryn Z Guyton, Dana Loomis, Yann Grosse, Fatiha El Ghissassi, Lamia Benbrahim-Tallaa, Neela Guha, Chiara Scoccianti, Heidi Mattock, Kurt Straif, on behalf of the International Agency for Research on Cancer Monograph Working Group, IARC, Lyon, France, The Lancet Oncology Published online March 20, 2015 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(15)70134-8

    And from the Healthy Environment Group (http://www.healthyenvironmentgroup.org/glyphosate-toxicity.html) Note that PMID is a PubMed ID number that can be "googled" to find the article

    The exposure of children to glyphosate should be avoided as recent animal studies have shown that commercial formulation of glyphosate is a potent endocrine (hormone) disruptor, causing disturbances in reproductive development when the exposure was during the puberty period. PMID: 20012598

    Pregnant women are also at risk as others have found that glyphosate exposure from commercial preparations can affect human reproduction and fetal development in case of contamination. Chemical mixtures in formulations appear to be underestimated regarding their toxic or hormonal impact. PMID: 17486286

    In Sweden exposure to glyphosate pesticide is considered a risk factor for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). PMID: 18623080 A 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 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. PMID: 15055003

    Investigation of human brains in acute lethal glyphosate poisoning show extensive bilateral damage to the brain stem and white matter. PMID: 19877558  There have also been several reports of exposure to glyphosate spraying causing secondary Parkinson's disease, PMID: 11391760, PMID: 12894271 Which supports neurological damage to humans by glyphosate exposure.
  • ACTION OF TOXIN:
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL:
  • Additional Exposure Routes:

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  Exposure Routes

These are the Exposure Routes we have so far for this substance. There are almost certainly more. We update this section regularly. The number of chemicals with 2 or more nastiness attributes in an exposure route is shown in orange. They grey badge shows the total amount of chemicals within the exposure route.


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