EPA releases draft human health and ecological risk assessments for glyphosate

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released for public comment the draft human health and ecological risk assessments for glyphosate, one of the most widely used forestry herbicides in the United States.

EPA’s human health review evaluated dietary, residential/non-occupational, aggregate, and occupational exposures. Additionally, the Agency performed an in-depth review of the glyphosate cancer database, including data from epidemiological, animal carcinogenicity, and genotoxicity studies.

The draft human health risk assessment concludes that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans. The Agency’s assessment found no other meaningful risks to human health when the product is used according to the pesticide label. The Agency’s scientific findings are consistent with conclusions of science reviews by a number of other countries as well as the 2017 National Institute of Health Agricultural Health Survey.

The ecological risk assessment indicates that there is potential for some uses of glyphosate to have effects on growth or reproduction of birds, mammals, and terrestrial and aquatic plants. Full details on potential effects as well as the EPA’s methods for estimating potential effects, can be found within the draft risk assessments and supporting documents, which are available at www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/draft-human-health-and-ecological-risk-assessments-glyphosate.

These document also will be available in glyphosate’s registration review docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0361 at www.regulations.gov in early 2018. At that time, EPA will open a 60-day public comment period for the draft risk assessments, evaluate the comments received, and consider any potential risk management options for this herbicide.

EPA is scheduled to publish the proposed interim registration review decision for glyphosate in 2019. That interim decision will outline any proposed mitigation measures to reduce risk, if any are needed.