Q:

Is Roundup weed killer safe around kids, dogs and the pool?

A:

Quick Answer

There is much debate as to whether Roundup is safe, which is why the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Pesticide is planning on conducting a review of its potential health risks in 2015. As with other herbicides, care must be taken when using Roundup, as it is a toxin.

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Full Answer

The Environmental Protection Agency considers the active ingredient in Roundup weed killer to have a low toxicity if used at the recommended levels, but two of its ingredients have potentially been linked to serious, even fatal, health problems.

Some studies have linked glyphosphate, the active ingredient in Roundup, to increased risk of birth defects, miscarriages, reproductive disorders and certain types of cancer. Furthermore, one of the inert ingredients in Roundup, polyethoxylated tallowamine, was shown to cause death to human placental, embryonic and umbilical cells in a study done at the University of Caen in France. In this study, the POEA was actually shown to be more toxic to the cells than the actual pesticide.

Monsanto, the company that produces Roundup, continues to claim that the product has repeatedly been proven to be safe, despite the studies that have suggested otherwise. The FDA's 2015 study should determine whether the product will continue to be readily available or whether its use will be restricted.

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