Glyphosate Facts

Transparency on safety aspects and use of glyphosate-containing herbicides in Europe


Can glyphosate exposure be linked to Parkinson’s disease?

Recently, three published reports of two separate incidents have reported associations between glyphosate and neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease in two cases. The first case followed acute exposure to a glyphosate formulation while spraying a garden 2, 3. The second case reported the chronic exposure of a factory worker in China, where a variety of pesticides including glyphosate were produced 15.

Glyphosate has a poor level of absorption through the human skin and low volatility
(© Zxcynosure).

However, the existence of significant systemic exposure to glyphosate in these cases is questionable, given the poor absorption of glyphosate through the human skin and its low volatility. Moreover, considering the widespread use of glyphosate, a significant number of cases associated with either acute and/or chronic exposure would be evident if glyphosate was a causative agent of this fairly common disease.

Multiple long-term animal studies with glyphosate have failed to demonstrate any evidence of neurotoxicity, including any evidence of Parkinson’s-like abnormalities. In the largest epidemiology study to date, which surveyed US farmers (Agricultural Health Study), no increased risk of Parkinson’s disease was found in association with reported glyphosate use 8.


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Last update: 03 June 2013