Exposure to two widely used weed killers could be harming the brain function

A recent study suggests that the cognitive functions of young individuals, including memory and learning abilities, may be negatively affected by exposure to two commonly used herbicides.

Exposure to two widely used weed killers could be harming the brain function

The research (1) focused on glyphosate and also examined 2,4-D, a well-established herbicide that has experienced a recent increase in usage. These two chemicals are often combined to combat stubborn weeds.

The research was led by researchers at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at University of California San Diego and published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

This herbicide (2,4-D) has gone mostly under the radar and more studies aimed at understanding the health effect of herbicide exposures are needed. This builds on the growing knowledge that not just insecticides – pesticides that are designed to be neurotoxins – can affect brain processes.

The research looked at urine samples from 519 teenagers (aged 11-17) living in farming areas in Ecuador where they use weed killers and other chemicals. The scientists also tested how well these young people could think and behave. They checked things like paying attention, remembering and learning, using language, understanding space, and social skills.

They found glyphosate in the urine of nearly all the people in the study (98.3%), and 2,4-D in about two-thirds of them (66.2%). Glyphosate was linked to issues with understanding social cues, while 2,4-D was linked to problems with paying attention, controlling impulses, using language, and remembering and learning things.

Glyphosate is a chemical that's used a lot all around the world, but it's causing arguments in many places because studies have connected it to various health problems.




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