Reducing Glyphosate Exposure from High Use Practices

ARC Linkage Project

The herbicide glyphosate (“Round-Up”) is the most commonly used herbicide in Australia and worldwide, being widely used to control weeds in agriculture, forestry, park maintenance, and by home gardeners. Glyphosate has increasingly become a focus of public and political awareness due to potential adverse health effects, coupled with its high frequency of use. Nevertheless, data on human exposure is lacking internationally. We need local information to be able to advise users on how to use glyphosate safely in both occupational and home settings.

This project will be the first study in Australia (and only the second internationally) to systematically examine occupational exposure to glyphosate. Biomonitoring data (human urine, dermal swabs, and hair samples) will be assessed alongside glyphosate spraying methods and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). This targeted approach will allow for a better understanding of glyphosate exposure, enabling more comprehensive human and environmental risk assessments to be undertaken.

We will study a group of workers spraying glyphosate to determine:

  • What are the urinary levels of glyphosate before and after a day of spraying?
  • What tasks are associated with higher urinary and dermal levels?
  • Does glyphosate accumulate if workers spray for several days?
Research Outputs

Campbell, G., Mannetje, A., Keer, S., Eaglesham, G., Wang, X., Lin, C.Y., Hobson, P., Toms, L.M., Douwes, J., Thomas, K.V. and Mueller, J.F., 2022. Characterization of glyphosate and AMPA concentrations in the urine of Australian and New Zealand populations. Science of the Total Environment847, p.157585.

Conference Abstracts

Campbell, G., Tscharke, B., Eaglesham, G., Thomas, K.V., Mueller, J.F., Kaserzon, S. Glyphosate concentrations and mass loads in influent and effluent from 15 wastewater treatment plants in Australia using passive samplers, International Passive Sampling Workshop, Utrecht, Netherlands, 18-22 September 2022.

Media Releases
Grant Support

This project is part of an ARC Linkage grant in collaboration with the following partners:

  • Department of Transport and Main Roads
  • Queensland Health
  • Massey University, New Zealand
  • Curtin University


Project members

A/Prof Sarit Kaserzon

Co-Theme Leader, Environmental Health Risk Assessment

Prof Jochen Mueller

Theme Leader, Emerging Environmental Health Risks

Dr Xianyu (Fisher) Wang

Senior Research Fellow

Garth Campbell

PhD Candidate