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Urinary Glyphosate, 2,4-D and DEET Biomarkers in Relation to Neurobehavioral Performance in Ecuadorian Adolescents in the ESPINA Cohort

Authors: Briana N.C. Chronister, Kun Yang, Audrey R. Yang, Tuo Lin, Xin M. Tu, Dolores Lopez-Paredes, Harvey Checkoway, Jose Suarez-Torres, Sheila Gahagan, Danilo Martinez, Dana Barr, Raeanne C. Moore, and Jose R. Suarez-Lopez


The Daily Mail in the UK recently summarized a new study released by researchers from the University of California San Diego, in which several herbicides and pesticides were studied in a group of 519 children between the ages of 11 to 17 who all lived in the agricultural area in Ecuador called Pedro Moncayo Canton (County). Glyphosate was detected in 98% of the samples collected and 2,4D was determined to be in 66% of the samples. They also looked for signs of DEET and a couple of other chemicals. The research took place in 2016. The study is published in the open source journal Environmental Health Perspectives.


Researchers tested for neurological effects in five areas. Describing their methods:

We assessed neurobehavioral performance using 9 subtests across 5 domains (attention/inhibitory control, memory/learning, language, visuospatial processing, and social perception). We characterized the associations using generalized estimating equations and multiple imputation for metabolites below detection limits.


The results showed

The higher amounts of 2,4D was linked to scores of tests for "attention and inhibitory control (how well you can stop impulses), memory and learning, language, spatial awareness, and social perception. They did this by looking through the test scores from 2016 on things like how quickly the children could understand a set of instructions, how well they could remember faces and how quickly they could solve shape puzzles.

Higher amounts of 2,4D in urine were linked to worse scores in the tests for attention and inhibitory control, memory and learning, and language. Glyphosate concentration in urine was only connected to lower scores in social perception.


The published study itself is word salad; to cut to the chase, the authors concluded: "This study describes worse neurobehavioral performance associated with herbicide exposures in adolescents, particularly with 2,4-D. Replication of these findings among other pediatric and adult populations is needed."





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