A study conducted by US Geological Survey scientists found traces of the Monsanto Corporation’s Roundup herbicide in 75% of rain and air samples tested. The study, “Pesticides in Mississippi air and rain: A comparison between 1995 and 2007,” appeared in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, in 2014.
The researchers looked at an array of pesticides in 1995, and again in 20007, using weekly composite air and precipitation samples during growing seasons in the Mississippi Delta farming region. They found detectable levels of the Roundup herbicide, otherwise known as glyphosate, and its toxic byproduct aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA).
A total 37 compounds were detected in the air or rain samples in 2007. Of these, 20 were present in both air and rain. Glyphosate was the prevalent herbicide identified in both air (86%) and rain (77%) in 2007, yet was not measured in 1995. Seven compounds were identified in 1995 and five in 2007, with the herbicides atrazine and metolachlor, and the pesticide propanil detected in more than 50% of the air and rain samples in both years.
The study further notes that 2 million kilograms of glyphosate were applied across Mississippi in 2007, in contrast to 147,000 kg statewide in 1995. Overall, the researchers estimate a potential 18-fold increase in glyphosate concentrations in air and water samples accumulating in the 12 years between their surveys.
Source: Sayer Ji. 2015, “Roundup Weedkiller Found In 75% of Air and Rain Samples, Gov. Study Finds,” Green Med Info, February 20, 2015, http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/roundup-weedkiller-found-75-air-and-rain-samples-gov-study-finds.
Student Researcher: Lauren McLane (Florida Atlantic University)
Faculty Evaluator: James F. Tracy (Florida Atlantic University)