Glyphosate, known better as Roundup and sold under several other brand names as well, a product of Monsanto, has been around since 1974. It is a potent and popular herbicide, registered for use in 130 countries. The world consumes more than 720,000 metric tons annually, so there is plenty to get into water. Glyphosate was detected in 36% of stream samples from 9 Midwestern US states as far back as 2002.
Although Roundup has always been viewed with suspicion, there has been little evidence that it poses a cancer risk to humans. Recent studies, however, have shown mixed results. Currently, the EPA sets its MCL at 700 parts per billion. The World Health Organization concludes that regulatory guidelines are not necessary because it poses low risk in drinking water.
Despite such assurances, most prefer not drinking Roundup. There are many options for getting rid of it. These include chlorination, ozonation, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis, and filtration with granular activated carbon.
Reference: Water Technology magazine, July, 2016.
Gazette Afternote: In August of 2018, a California jury found Monsanto liable in a lawsuit filed by a man who alleged the company’s glyphosate-based weedkillers, including Roundup, caused his cancer and ordered the company to pay $289 million in damages.This case has certainly cast doubts on the “low risk” assessment. As early as 2015, the World Health Organization’s cancer arm classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”