Genetic, Health and Environmental Impacts Caused by Glyphosate in Ecuador


César Paz-y-Miño
Biomedical Research Institute, Faculty of Health Sciences Universidad de las Americas, Ecuador

Andrés López-Cortés
Biomedical Research Institute, Faculty of Health Sciences Universidad de las Americas, Ecuador
Centro de Investigación Genética y Genómica, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial, Quito, Ecuador

Series: Biochemistry Research Trends
BISAC: SCI007000

Glyphosate is one of the most widely used chemical products worldwide and its manufacturer has considered it the safest herbicide for human health around the world under the stated technical conditions: a direct fumigation on weed, concentration use of between 1 to 3%, and low dose and low exposure time on the part of the person who is handling the herbicide.

Glyphosate has a short lifespan, about three months, but the analyses on the environmental destination of this herbicide get to detect it up to two years later, especially in soils rich in iron. Whatever the case may be, it is obvious that the aerial spraying caused problems in the border, which were studied by several organizations. After being aware of this situation, the Biomedical Research Institute at the Universidad de las Américas outlined a project that was approved by the National Science and Technology Secretariat (Secretaría Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología-SENACYT), currently known as the National Higher Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation Secretariat (Secretaría Nacional de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación-SENESCYT), in order to evaluate the impact of the aerial spraying with glyphosate on the Northern border, and to analyze for two years an array of genetic, physical, and psychological factors that define the results that this book gathers.

By means of this new book that includes many actors and researchers, we intend to provide scientific information related to the pollution, precaution, protection, and remediation mechanisms, as well as the potential effects caused by the indirect and direct aerial spraying on the Ecuadorian communities settled along the border with Colombia. For a better understanding of the impact caused by the herbicide cocktail, the SENACYT created the Ecotoxicology Network made up of the Universidad de las Américas, the Ecuadorian Natural Sciences Museum, and the Escuela Politécnica Nacional, which focuses on exchanging information that these four institutions will obtain regarding the same topic: aerial spraying with herbicide cocktail and its effects on the Ecuadorian territory.

This book provides information on the effects of this genotoxic on the DNA structure and the chromosomes; the mechanism of action of glyphosate and its increasing action by means of surfactants, coadjunvants, and other pollutants; the international toxicological studies of pesticides in humans and other organisms; the Ecuadorian Amazon biodiversity threatened by the aerial spraying, as well as the effects on crops, animals, and water; the origin and life conditions of the communities; the study of chromosome alterations and DNA genetic polymorphisms related to large or little susceptibility to glyphosate; the valuation of the nutritional status; the mother-child health and the impact of the aerial spraying on the psychological condition; the environmental diagnosis by means of the analysis of glyphosate and AMPA in soil samples; and the parasitological and microbiological analysis of water samples. To finalize, this book is also a good source of bibliographic information on antimutagenic agents and physical-chemical, enzymatic, and oxidation mechanisms used in other countries in order to mitigate and remediate the presence of glyphosate in the environment and that can be helpful in Ecuador if the indiscriminate use of this pesticide continues. (Imprint: Nova)


Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 – Herbicide Package-Mix (pp. 1-18)

Chapter 2 – Toxicology (pp. 19-32)

Chapter 3 – Aerial Spraying (pp. 33-48)

Chapter 4 – Biomonitoring in the Province of Sucumbios (pp. 49-62)

Chapter 5 – Genetic Diagnosis (pp. 63-84)

Chapter 6 – Health Diagnosis (pp. 85-112)

Chapter 7 – Psychological Diagnosis (pp. 113-122)

Chapter 8 – Environmental Diagnosis (pp. 123-146)

Chapter 9 – Mitigation and Remediation Mechanisms (pp. 147-156)

Chapter 10 – Conclusion and Recommendations (pp. 157-170)




“It is a great honor for me to recommend the publication and edition of this book entitled: Genetic, health and environmental impacts caused by glyphosate in Ecuador. The book offers a vast revision of knowledge with specific well-detailed research about the genetic, health and environmental impacts caused by glyphosate. Understanding the linkages between each of these interrelated impacts is of sum importance because it provides a holistic, yet detailed overview of the multiple cascading effects that glyphosate produces. Moreover, the book provides useful information about effective methods and techniques, which can be used for ongoing or future research to identify, monitor and consequently mitigate such diverse impacts. I consider that this book will be of great interests for practitioners and students in many of the related research areas, but also I would consider it important for policy and decision makers.” – Francisco Benítez Capistros, Ph.D. Fellow/Researcher

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