Yes, Roundup can be absorbed through skin, although it is less likely to happen as long as the skin does not have cuts or scrapes, and the user quickly washes to area thoroughly with soap and water. Some studies conclude that Roundup may contribute to different types of cancer and other medical complications.
Understanding How Chemicals Enter the Skin
The skin is actually the largest bodily organ. The epidermis, which is the outer layer, is quite waterproof and provides a constant barrier to any chemical, physical, or biological damage. However, the skin can also absorb chemicals that are then absorbed into the underlying dermal layer of skin.
Skin is often exposed to potentially harmful chemicals and can easily resist them. However, if over time, the skin is consistently exposed to a toxic or carcinogenic chemical, the accumulation of this absorption may result in the increased risk of different types of cancers or health conditions.
Glyphosate and the Skin
Roundup is an incredibly popular herbicide in the United States, and possibly the world, according to the journal Environmental Sciences Europe. Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Roundup, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) established that glyphosate was “probably carcinogenic to humans” in 2015. As many farmers and agricultural workers sprayed this chemical to kill weed among their crops, they have suffered exposure to substantial amounts of this chemical over a long period of time.
While the epidermis is largely waterproof, glyphosate can penetrate the skin through small cuts, wounds, or abrasions in the skin. While this may not seem like a likely scenario for the average Roundup user, people like agricultural workers who work with this chemical repeatedly can risk exposure, especially if they have skin conditions or have regular cuts and scrapes due to their line of work. When glyphosate enters through damaged openings in the skin, it can cause long-term damage to your health down the line.
Even without damaged skin, agricultural workers have had repeated doses, often over several years. Since glyphosate can penetrate into the skin gradually over time, this means that if a farmer or agricultural worker gets Roundup on their skin and fails to wash it off in the water, the skin will keep on absorbing it. This will continue until the person removes it or washes it off proactively.
When workers continue to spray this product for hours on end (often without protective gear), it may continue to be absorbed by the skin by entering the fatty barrier of the outer membrane of the epidermis. Ultimately, Roundup can be absorbed through skin in certain circumstances, which can result in serious medical consequences.
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Skin Structure and Glyphosate
Research from the Journal of Hematology & Oncology shows that when skin cells suffer exposure to lower levels of glyphosate, a stiffening of the cytoskeleton occurs (which changes the internal support of the skin’s cells). When the skin suffers exposure to large levels of glyphosate, gross changes occur in the skin cell’s shape, drastically altering the continuity, contact, adhesion, and communication between skin cells. This means that skin cells lose a vital protective function, leaving them more vulnerable to disease and toxic chemicals.
Cancer and Medical Complications of Roundup Exposure
Some studies have connected Roundup directly to the increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma symptoms include enlarged lymph nodes, abdominal pain, swollen abdomen or stomach, shortness of breath, chest pressure or pain, cough, fever, weight loss, anemia, night sweats/chills, loss of appetite, headaches, chronic fatigue, nausea and/or vomiting, skin rash, and difficulty moving.
Along with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, other medical complications and increased health risks have often been connected with sustained exposure to Roundup. The research published in
the journal Scientific Reports, concluded that glyphosate disrupts the DNA structure of a person.
Some of the medical complications potentially linked to Roundup use and its skin absorption include leukemia, pancreatic islet cell tumors, bone cancer, multiple myeloma, B-cell lymphoma, kidney cancer (also known as renal cell carcinoma), skin tumors, other forms of cancer, DNA damage, birth defects, reproductive issues, neurodegenerative diseases, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Consider Contacting a Roundup Lawyer
If you previously had long-term exposure to Roundup and ultimately developed either Non-Hodgkin lymphoma or another medical diagnosis, consider contacting our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444.
While no amount of compensation will help you recover from your diagnosis, you likely face astronomical medical bills, the inability to return to work (and therefore lost wages), and pain and suffering.
If one of your loved ones died due to their exposure to Roundup or the chemical glyphosate, you may have the ability to obtain compensation for funeral expenses or loss of consortium. Learn how a Roundup lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and help you determine your next steps.