Effects of glyphosate and 2,4-D on earthworms (Eisenia foetida) in laboratory tests

Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 2010 Sep;85(3):264-8. doi: 10.1007/s00128-010-0089-7. Epub 2010 Jul 24.


Laboratory tests were conducted to compare the effects of various concentrations of glyphosate and 2,4-D on earthworms (Eisenia foetida) cultured in Argissol during 56 days of incubation. The effects on earthworm growth, survival, and reproduction rates were verified for different exposure times. Earthworms kept in glyphosate-treated soil were classified as alive in all evaluations, but showed gradual and significant reduction in mean weight (50%) at all test concentrations. For 2,4-D, 100% mortality was observed in soil treated with 500 and 1,000 mg/kg. At 14 days, 30%-40% mortality levels were observed in all other concentrations. No cocoons or juveniles were found in soil treated with either herbicide. Glyphosate and 2,4-D demonstrated severe effects on the development and reproduction of Eisenia foetida in laboratory tests in the range of test concentrations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycine / toxicity
  • Growth and Development / drug effects
  • Herbicides / toxicity*
  • Oligochaeta / drug effects*
  • Oligochaeta / growth & development
  • Oligochaeta / metabolism
  • Soil Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Toxicity Tests


  • Herbicides
  • Soil Pollutants
  • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid
  • glyphosate
  • Glycine