Exposure to Chemicals


Human beings have used chemicals over the years for various activities. The designing of these chemicals which range from fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides is to work with sensible certainty and negligible risk to human health. They are, however, associated with various diseases some of them being chronicle. These chemicals are important in their usage, but on the other hand, they have detrimental impacts on the environment and human health. There are many ways through which these chemicals get to the human systems. Here, a case study report of an herbicide’s effects on triplets born from farmers in Lenexa, USA where the use of herbicides is rampant, exposure pathway, the organ system affected, and how exposure to the chemical can be avoided is analyzed.                              

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Effects of Glyphosate

Research conducted has indicated that the use of glyphosate as a crop desiccant, is highly associated with an increased rate of autism. Glyphosate is an herbicide used in genetically modified foods that are glyphosate-resistant (Shaw, 2017). Autism is a condition of the mind that is marked by communication disorder and a short attention period. A study was carried out on triplets in Lenexa, USA. The health and environmental factors were taken into account.


The study intended to find out if excessive glyphosate was present in the triplets and their parents. The study would also determine the biochemical findings for the family to identify the effects of its presence.


The author performed a case study with the support of the parents and the attending physician.


Participants were triplets, 2 male children and 1 female, and their parents. The 2 male children had autism, whereas the female had a possible seizure disorder. All 3 had elevated urinary glyphosate, and all of the triplets and their mother had elevated values of succinic acid or tri-glycine, which are indicators of mitochondrial dysfunction.


The participants’ diets consisted of organic food only.

Outcome Measures

The study performed organic acids, glyphosate, toxic chemicals and tri-glycine, and creatinine testing of the participants’ urine.


The 2 male triplets with autism had abnormalities on at least 1 organic acids test, including elevated phenolic compounds such as 4-cresol, 3-[3-hydroxyphenyl]-3-hydroxypropionic acid and 4-hydroxyphenyl acetic acid, which have been previously associated with Clostridia bacteria and autism (Shaw, 2017). The female, who was suspected of having a seizure disorder but not autism, did not have elevated phenolic compounds but did have a significantly elevated value of the metabolite tri-glycine, a marker for mitochondrial dysfunction and/or mutations. One male triplet was retested post-intervention and was found to have a markedly lower amount of glyphosate in his urine. The chemical got through their bodies through inhaling.

Acute and chronicle effect of herbicides

The herbicides are applied directly to the farms to control weeds and is the leading pollutant of the environment. Living things that are not targeted are exposed to these chemicals which produce poisonous effects on those organisms (Kim, 2017). Human gets exposed to the chemicals through various ways which include; residue in food and drinking water. Some hazards, however, are short-term, which are; skin and eye irritation, headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Others are chronicle such as, cancer, asthma, and diabetes.

  The toxicity profile of a substance is a measure of the extent of harm a substance has on an organism. To determine the toxicity profile, different levels of exposure to the substance resulting from different pathways are taken. Pesticides have a major impact on the environment and human and animal health. Malathion is a low human toxicity pesticide and it was one of the earliest pesticides developed. Malathion is used against mosquitoes, flies, household pests, and animal parasites (Srivastava & Kesavachandran, 2019). These chemicals find their way into the body through; the alimentary tract, respiratory system, skin pores, and the blood circulatory system. 

How exposure to glyphosate can be avoided

One of the major solutions for exposure to harmful chemicals is the use of alternative methods of farming that could be less pollutant. Through research, chemicals with less or no effects on the environment are adopted. Farmers also are encouraged to use organic means of farming as opposed to chemicals. The method of application of the chemicals and the amount applied is also an important factor to consider. It is vital to take precautionary measures and have a keen observation of the weather before using the chemicals since their effect is also affected by the weather.


It is inevitable to use chemical substances since they play a major role in the human being and his activities. However, it would be very important to have a wise choice of the chemical one uses to curb the problems of contamination. The herbicides, for instance, would get into contact with water and food and cause big harm to the human being. Nevertheless, these effects can be avoided by putting in place activities that are less harmful to the environment. The use of excessive of these chemicals can also be avoided by using alternative methods of farming. This way, the world will stay free from some allergies and chronicle diseases.


Kim, K. H., Kabir, E., & Jahan, S. A. (2017). Exposure to pesticides and the associated human health effects. Science of the Total Environment, 575, 525-535.

Shaw, W. (2017). Elevated urinary glyphosate and clostridia metabolites with altered dopamine metabolism in triplets with autistic spectrum disorder or suspected seizure disorder: a case study. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, 16(1), 50.Srivastava, A. K., & Kesavachandran, C. (2019). Health effects of pesticides. CRC Press.

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