Credit: The New Lede

Pregnant women in a key US farm state are showing increasing amounts of a toxic weedkiller in their urine, a rise that comes alongside climbing use of the chemicals in agriculture, according to a study published on Friday.

The study, led by the Indiana University School of Medicine, showed that 70% of pregnant women tested in Indiana between 2020 and 2022 had a herbicide called dicamba in their urine, up from 28% from a similar analysis for the period 2010-12. The earlier study included women in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio.

Notably, the study also found that along with a larger percentage of women showing the presence of dicamba in their bodies, the concentrations of the weed-killing chemical increased more than fourfold.

Both studies found that 100% of the women tested had 2,4-dichloroacetic acid, better known as 2,4-D, in their urine; the more recent study showed detectable, but not significant, increases in concentration levels.

The findings add to a growing body of literature documenting human exposure to chemicals used in agriculture, and various known and potential health impacts. Many […]

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