Seasonal glyphosate and AMPA levels in urine of children and adolescents from Northeastern Slovenia / 21.08.2020

This first estimation of glyphosate and its metabolit AMPA exposure in Slovenian population showed much lower levels when compared to those reported in similar studies worldwide.

The aim of the present study was to estimate the environmental exposure to GLY and AMPA in a population of children (7-10y) and adolescents (12-15y) living in rural areas with intensive agriculture in the northeastern part of Slovenia. To consider some of the gaps in the current literature on GLY human biomonitoring, urine levels of GLY and AMPA were:
i) followed and compared in winter and late-spring/early-summer seasons to assess possible effects of seasonal GBH applications on exposure,
ii) tested for associations with the reported data on dietary habits and residency environments to identify possible sources of exposure,
iii) urine levels of GLY and AMPA were also tested for associations with urine and/or blood levels of various elements to test for possible co-exposure.

Levels of GLY and its metabolite AMPA in urine of children and adolescents were very low where health risks are not expected. We did not observe any significant difference in exposure based on the sampling season. However, the stronger AMPA and GLY correlations and the correlations with elements (As, Pb, Co and Zn) observed only in the second sampling period, might be connected to the more intensive use of GBH in the spring. At such low exposure concentrations, age and gender were confirmed as important determinants of the GLY and/or AMPA exposure. By contrast, despite the numerous tested associations of GLY and AMPA with environmental and dietary parameters, we were unable to distinguish between exposure from the diet or use of GBH in the residential environment.

Based on our results we would like to emphasise that, questionnaire data on diet and environmental activity (e.g. use of GBH) of participants within last days prior to sampling, and probably larger sample size would provide more
insight into possible exposure sources, especially at such low exposure concentrations.Furthermore, the observed associations of GLY and AMPA with elements in urine might also indicate possible co-exposure, meaning that the concentrations of elements in conjunction with AMPA and GLY concentrations should be considered in future biomonitoring and epidemiological studies.

Study is presented in article: “Seasonal glyphosate and AMPA levels in urine of children and adolescents
living in rural regions of Northeastern Slovenia” prepared by A.Stajnko, J. Snoj Tratnik, T. Kosjek, D. Mazej, M. Jagodic, I. Eržen and M. Horvat in Environmental International, available online: