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How Roundup, a popular weed killer, can impact pregnancy

Roundup is practically a household name. People all over the world use this product to kill the weeds growing in their lawns and gardens. In fact, this popular weedkiller is very commonly used in residential, commercial and agricultural applications. 300 million pounds of the chemical gets applied to crops every year. Unfortunately, the active chemical in Roundup, glyphosphate, may be a cause of a host of medical issues.

Some lawsuits pending in the court system claim that exposure to glyphosphate was responsible for the development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Exposure to this chemical could have caused an otherwise preventable cancer. Now, researchers claim that glyphosphate could be connected to shorter pregnancies and the plethora of medical issues that come with premature delivery.

Researchers found exposure related to early birth in Indiana

When reviewing statistics from the so-called "corn belt" in Indiana, researchers from Indiana University found that those who experienced regular exposure to glyphosphate had shorter pregnancies. They tested the levels of glyphosphate in a number of pregnant women. Roughly 90 percent of them had detectable levels of the chemical in their urine.

Those with higher levels in their urine seemed to have shorter pregnancies than the other women studied. This concerned researchers, because early birth or shorter pregnancies can have an impact on the child's health and well-being. They also saw a correlation between exposure and slower fetal growth rates.

Early births can lead to a host of potential complications

Premature labor and delivery means bringing a child into the world before he or she has fully developed defenses against it. From issues with lung performance and the immune system to slower growth and cognitive impacts, there are a slew of issues associated with early births. Some of the children born early require extended stays in the neonatal intensive care unit. That can cost families thousands of dollars over time.

Tragically, there may be many families across the United States who have unknowingly suffered injury as a result of exposure to Roundup or glyphosphate. Some of them may work in agriculture or live near large farms, while others may have simply ended up exposed as a result of contaminated or unwashed produce. Additional research into this potential complication of the widespread use of the popular herbicide is obviously necessary to ensure the health and protection of American farmers and consumers.

When manufacturers release products without conducting long-term studies on the medical and environmental impact of those products, the results can be catastrophic. After years of widespread use, research is only just beginning to show how glyphosphate may endanger the public or those who work with it. In the future, that research may help those hurt by this compound to seek the compensation they deserve.

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