Round up and amphibians

RUDE_RUDY(Z6 OZARKS)August 13, 2005

I saw a news article this week about a study that linked the use of Round Up to amphibian deaths.

It could be that the decline in amphibians in general is due to the chemicals we have introduced into the environment in recent years.

Round up has been the #1 tool used to eliminate unwanted vegetation in native plant restoration projects.

I for one intend to curtail my use of this chemical until its consequences are clarified.

I have been using round up in my prairie restorations and this year I saw no salamanders in a pond on my place where they have always gone to breed.

What do you think?

Are there Alternatives?

What will you do?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Previous research had found that the ingredient lethal to amphibians in Roundup was not the herbicide itself, glyphosate, but rather the surfactant, or detergent, that allows the herbicide to penetrate the waxy surfaces of plants. In Roundup, that surfactant is a chemical called polyehtoxylated tallowamine.

The problem really comes from improper application and/or choice of products for the given area. Roundup is not a labeled product for use over water or in wetland areas because of one of the ingredients in it (not the Glyphosate) is damaging to aquatic life. Rodeo is the Glyphosate product labeled for use over water. Many people misuse herbicides without reading the label.

In a limited way, Roundup could be safely applied in areas known to contain amphibians if it were applied with either a brush or wick applicator. A mist application is typically the real culprit. Once again  READ THE LABEL. Improper use typically yields unintended consequences.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2005 at 3:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've seen this mentioned elswhere here in the forums so I decided to look up the exact paper and read it through. It disturbs me that Reylea uses the same terminology for ALL of the products EXCEPT Roundup, here he waffles between Glyphosate and Roundup. This leads me to believe the article is slanted to show findings to support something other, rather than an empirical study.

He also states that he applied them directly to the water surface. Then near the end of the paper states he used a formulation of roundup not intended for use in aquatic situations. He then goes on to state that he redid the experiment without a substrate (soil which binds the compounds of roundup) and got a near 100% kill! Gee use something not intended for a situation, then take away the substrate that binds up the ingredients, go figure. Here's a link to a review of the paper I read over in the trees forum (courtesy of JAYK)

I use roundup for my work as well as rodeo based on the situation. At home, however, my favorite non-selective herbicide is 99 cents a gallon white vinegar.

Read the study (if you have time), then read the review, If you haven't already. Seems like something's fishy to me.

Here is a link that might be useful: Relyea study

    Bookmark   August 13, 2005 at 3:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would also add that studies where Roundup has been used to control plants in various habitats that contain populations of amphibians, such as forestland and riparian areas, have not shown negative impacts on these animals. It is clear that surfactants, such as those in detergents, soaps and Roundup are not appropriate for direct application to water, but it is equally clear that labeled use of Roundup in non-aquatic sites is not a cause for concern regarding amphibians. The primary problem with this study is the very misleading press release and comments from the author that purported that the study results were totally unexpected. Nothing could be further from the truth. The toxicity of surfactants, including Roundup's surfactant, to aquatic organisms is well known and has been well documented for many years. There is no reason to discontinue labeled use of Roundup in restoration work. The link Penn State sums it up very well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Penn State summary

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 1:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i just have to add one thing: a wetland isn't necessary for an amphibian population to be present, for example, toads. toads will be found in "meadows" where roundup is being used.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 7:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good point. And the studies I have seen have shown that Roundup is not deterimental to their populations in such areas. A few suggestions: Giesy JP, Dobson S, Solomon KR (2000) Sullivan DS, Sullivan TP (2000) Ecotoxicological risk assessment for Roundup herbicide. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 167: 35-120.;

Non-target impacts of the herbicide glyphosate: A compendium of references and abstracts. 5th Edition. Applied Mammal Research Institute, Summerland, BritishColumbia, Canada.;

Birge WJ, Westerman AG, Spromberg JA. (2000) Comparative toxicity and risk assessment of amphibians. Chapter 14A in Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles. Sparling DW, Linder G, Bishop CA (Eds). Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), Pensacola, FL. p.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 11:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks JAYK! wonderful information.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 10:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i have only one other question, and i must commend you for listing references.

are these doing the research affiliated with any companies that would cause bias, or are they neutral scientist/environmentalists? (the middle one "looks" obvious as to who "they" are)

ok, two questions. as far as the above question, how would anyone make this determination?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 7:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The majority of the studies looking at effects in situ as I have cited are not typically even funded by the manufacturer. They are usually carried out by university based scientists.

As for laboratory studies needed for the actual governmental registration of pesticides, these are generally funded by the manufacturer but are carried out by third party labs following highly standardized and regulated practices. All are subject to review by the governmental body.

I share your concern that the quality and source of the study must be considered. I have been satisfied that the evidence is clear that this particular herbicide is not presenting a general problem for amphibians. That is certainly not necessarily the case for other herbicides. Characteristics vary greatly between different pesticides.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 10:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

See the response from Professor Relyea:

Here is a link that might be useful: link for above

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 11:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Please note the following use of "environmentally relevant concns." in the following larger quote:

"chronically exposed to environmentally relevant concns. of POEA or glyphosate formulations contg. POEA showed decreased snout-vent length at metamorphosis and increased time to metamorphosis, tail damage, and gonadal abnormalities."

Title: Toxicity of glyphosate-based pesticides to four North American frog species.

Authors: Howe, Christina M.; Berrill, Michael; Pauli, Bruce D.; Helbing, Caren C.; Werry, Kate; Veldhoen, Nik.

Authors affiliation: Department of Biology, Trent University, Peterborough, ON, Can.

Published in: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (2004), 23(8), pages 1928-1938.

Abstract: "Glyphosate-based herbicides are among the most widely used pesticides in the world. We compared the acute toxicity of the glyphosate end-use formulation Roundup Original to four North American amphibian species (Rana clamitans, R. pipiens, R. sylvatica, and Bufo americanus) and the toxicity of glyphosate tech., the polyethoxylated tallowamine surfactant (POEA) commonly used in glyphosate-based herbicides, and five newer glyphosate formulations to R. clamitans. For R. clamitans, acute toxicity values in order of decreasing toxicity were POEA > Roundup Original > Roundup Transorb > Glyfos AU; no significant acute toxicity was obsd. with glyphosate tech. material or the glyphosate formulations Roundup Biactive, Touchdown, or Glyfos BIO. Comparisons between the four amphibian species showed that the toxicity of Roundup Original varied with species and developmental stage. Rana pipiens tadpoles chronically exposed to environmentally relevant concns. of POEA or glyphosate formulations contg. POEA showed decreased snout-vent length at metamorphosis and increased time to metamorphosis, tail damage, and gonadal abnormalities. These effects may be caused, in some part, by disruption of hormone signaling, because thyroid hormone receptor b mRNA transcript levels were elevated by exposure to formulations contg. glyphosate and POEA. Taken together, the data suggest that surfactant compn. must be considered in the evaluation of toxicity of glyphosate-based herbicides."

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 11:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Amphibians by their nature are extremely vulnerable to environmental changes.
Their populations have declined in recent times.
In the last few hundred years we humans have introduced numerous substances into the air, soil, water, atmosphere, ozone layer etc. that are absorbed, eaten, (drunk, drank, drinked), breathed, by ourselves and our critter amigos.
Whether you believe in evolution, intelligent design or whatever, we need to be very careful about introducing substances into our world.This world cannot adapt quickly to the changes we are causing.
We have all heard news stories that first say something is OK and then say it is not. Vioxx for example. Or they find that something causes cancer that they thought was OK.
Nature, our world, is a balance, a web of interrelated factors that evolved over millions of years. It is niave to think that we can manipulte the world without destroying the balance.
It is not just the frogs or salamanders that are affected, they might be one of the first things affected, but know that there are consequences for introducing chemicals into the world that cannot be predicted.
It may be that glyphosate, used properly, is benign.
The bigger question is who decides , and how is it decided, what changes we make, and what we do to protect the environment.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 3:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The following is a very recent (September 7, 2005) summary published in an American Chemical Society Publication:

Here is a link that might be useful: link for above

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 4:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ahughes798(z5 IL)

I use the "glove of death" method, but then again, my prairie recreation is only about 500 sq. feet.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 7:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi all, Im kinda new to this site and from what Im reading here Im not half as educated as most of you, but I think every ones opinion should count =) I think that it might be a little late for people to start to worry about what is in the insecticides we use, the water we drink, the food that we eat,the air we breath, whats killing our amphibians and all other critters that used to do great in this world, I really think that the time has past to correct it, maybe the earth could recover, maybe not, maybe the earth will turn on the very thing that is infesting it like a parasite/disease, and we all know who/what that is! I hope that this is not the case, but one cant help but wonder, theres the old saying,"a person can only take so much" well, the earth can only take so much, can you imagine the damage that will be done when she starts "pushing back?" just my thoughts, Thanks

    Bookmark   September 16, 2005 at 5:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

could hurricanes and the alleged link to global warming be an example of mother nature pushing back?
It is not too late to attempt to remedy the wrongs we have inflicted on our planet. At least we are obligated to try.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 11:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I dont know if it is not too late to ATTEMPT to remedy the wrongs we have inflicted on our planet, we still may have a chance, and we are indeed obligated to try, I just wish the entire population of this world would realize this and act on it as a whole, I think you and I both know that it will not work any other way, I think that is one of the reasons why we try to duplicate nature in our own back yards, because deep inside we might be afraid of loosing our "natural garden" people who really love nature are getting harder and harder to find, when I was a kid every one I knew was about nature and animals, you ask a kid these days if they want to learn about this and all they want to know about is the next video game and when it will be released, or how fast thier comp is compared to whoevers, or how much better they dress in school than the rest of the kids, its a shame, its not all of them, but it is a good percentage of them, any ways, Im getting of the Garden Web topic, which is gardening, sorry about that.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 11:28PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Looking for Alternative for Russian Sage
Over the weekend, I was out of the state and seen some...
Indian story or legend about Sassafras leaves
This is a little out of the ordinary, but I am looking...
Agalinis auriculata and other imperiled species for your garden
Has any of you tried to introduce a locally imperiled/endangered...
WoodsTea 6a MO
Is it cheating to use varieties that were bread from natives?
For example, instead of native Itea virginica, using...
ID needed - tall, yellow button flowers
These are currently in bloom, wondering what it is?...
Sponsored Products
Premium Olefin 9-foot Aluminum Patio Umbrella
Contemporary Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Artistic Weavers Rugs Artes Beige 4 ft.
Home Depot
Indoor Ceiling Fans: Hunter 52 in. Sona White Ceiling Fan 21323
Home Depot
Sage Deep-Pocket Sheet Set
$19.99 | zulily
Crosley Newport Solid Black Granite Top Portable Kitchen Island - KF30024CBK
$319.00 | Hayneedle
Chatham Chrome Four-Light Bath Fixture with Flat White Opal Glass
$106.53 | Bellacor
Upton Home Gilbert Mahogany Electric Fireplace
Totoro Up Close Wall Art
$109.99 | Dot & Bo
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™