Glyphosate levels in human urine – preliminary results

We asked you, in late January whether you would take part in a study of glyphosate levels in human urine – our taking the p*ss study. As always, you responded brilliantly and from 9 February until last week the results gradually rolled in. Thank you.

We received 120 results and if you were one of the participants you will have received, or will soon receive, an email thanking you for taking part and giving you the option of adding to our knowledge later in the year.

The range of glyphosate levels was from ‘below detectable levels’ to 3.4ng/ml with a median value of 0.9ng/ml, and 84% of participants had detectable levels of glyphosate in their urine.

How do these results compare with other studies? Our results are very much in line with previous results obtained in the UK, Europe and North America but more detailed comparisons are difficult since many previous studies were of small sample sizes (whereas our study, thanks to you, is a very decent size) and previous studies, and ours, are not representative samples of the population as a whole. Our participants are middle-aged and older with few under-40s in the sample and we have noticeably more females than males in our sample. None of this is surprising and doesn’t affect the value of what we are investigating.

To see previous results from across Europe, including from the UK, but from self-selected samples of people, have a look at this website – click here.

The next stage of this study will be to ask most of the current participants to repeat the process of taking a urine sample, sending it off for analysis and reporting the results to us later in the year. If we get enough repeat measures then we will find out more about two things: do people with higher/lower measured urine glyphosate levels from our first sample have higher/lower urine glyphosate levels when measured a second time? In other words, are there consistent differences between individuals? And, do measured urine glyphosate levels differ between different times of year? Is there seasonal variation. The answers to these questions are helpful in pinning down what influences glyphosate levels. And to look at potential correlates of urine glyphosate levels we will be asking participants in the next stage to fill in a short questionnaire about their age, gender, lifestyle, location, diet etc.

This first stage of our study has produced a large sample of interesting results which seem very consistent with previous studies. The next stage of our study is much more ground-breaking and may (who knows? it depends on what we find) take knowledge of factors affecting glyphosate levels in human urine further forward. Thank you to everyone who has answered the call to action and we hope that you will be able to carry on being a part of this study.

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