Review of genotoxicity biomonitoring studies of glyphosate-based formulations

Crit Rev Toxicol. 2015 Mar;45(3):209-18. doi: 10.3109/10408444.2015.1010194. Epub 2015 Feb 17.


Abstract Human and environmental genotoxicity biomonitoring studies involving exposure to glyphosate-based formulations (GBFs) were reviewed to complement an earlier review of experimental genotoxicity studies of glyphosate and GBFs. The environmental and most of the human biomonitoring studies were not informative because there was either a very low frequency of GBF exposure or exposure to a large number of pesticides without analysis of specific pesticide effects. One pesticide sprayer biomonitoring study indicated there was not a statistically significant relationship between frequency of GBF exposure reported for the last spraying season and oxidative DNA damage. There were three studies of human populations in regions of GBF aerial spraying. One study found increases for the cytokinesis-block micronucleus endpoint but these increases did not show statistically significant associations with self-reported spray exposure and were not consistent with application rates. A second study found increases for the blood cell comet endpoint at high exposures causing toxicity. However, a follow-up to this study 2 years after spraying did not indicate chromosomal effects. The results of the biomonitoring studies do not contradict an earlier conclusion derived from experimental genotoxicity studies that typical GBFs do not appear to present significant genotoxic risk under normal conditions of human or environmental exposures.

Keywords: biomonitoring; formulation; genotoxicity; glyphosate; mutagenicity.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycine / toxicity
  • Humans
  • Mutagenicity Tests / methods
  • Pesticides / chemistry
  • Pesticides / toxicity


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Pesticides
  • glyphosate
  • Glycine