If you hate weeds and cancer, you may want to rethink your garden strategy. New research out of the University of Washington found that a common household weed killer may increases the risk of some cancers by more than 40 percent.
The study focused on exposure to glyphosate — the world’s most widely used, broad-spectrum herbicide and the primary ingredient in Roundup. Scientists looked at existing data on the connection between glyphosate and various forms of cancer, and found that the link between the common household chemical and non-Hodgkin lymphoma is stronger than previously reported.
“Our analysis focused on providing the best possible answer to the question of whether or not glyphosate is carcinogenic,” senior author Dr. Lianne Sheppard, a professor in the UW departments of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences and Biostatistics said in a statement. “As a result of this research, I am even more convinced that it is.”
Specifically, analyzing research found that exposure to glyphosate may increase the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma by as much as 41 percent.
Garden products first started to contain glyphosate in 1974, but usage significantly spiked in the mid-2000s when farmers began a pest management technique known as “green burndown,” where herbicides containing glyphosate were put on crops before they were harvested. As a result of that, crops today tend to have higher levels of glyphosate.
At this point, the authors of the study said that more research is necessary to better understand this connection, but for now, you may want to rethink how you deal with weeds in your yard.