Yikes! According to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey, Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide (also known as glyphosate) was found in a sample study of Mississippi rain and air — in 75 percent of all samples!

Researchers examined many different types of pesticides during the growing periods of 1995 and 2007 in the Mississippi Delta region. According to We Support Organic, the group found the following results, among others: “Thirty-seven compounds were detected in the air or rain samples in 2007; 20 of these were present in both air and rain. Glyphosate was the predominant new herbicide detected in both air (86%) and rain (77%) in 2007, but were not measured in 1995. Total herbicide flux in 2007 was slightly greater than in 1995, and was dominated by glyphosate.”

The report also states that a whopping 2 million kilograms of glyphosate were applied in the state in 2007, so the findings were not exactly surprising. However, based on estimations of the amounts from 1995, there has been an approximate “18 fold increase in glyphosate concentrations in air and water samples in only 12 years (1995-2007).”

And what does this mean for you? Well, according to We Support Organic, “In the month of August, 2007, if you were breathing in the sampled air you would be inhaling approximately 2.5 nanograms of glyphosate per cubic meter of air. It has been estimated the average adult inhales approximately 388 cubic feet or 11 cubic meters of air per day, which would equal to 27.5 nanograms (billionths of a gram) of glyphosate a day.”

While this might not sound so scary (or maybe it does), consider this: “Recent cell research has shown that glyphosate may act as an endocrine disrupter exhibiting estrogenic-like carcinogenicity within the part-per-trillion range.”

These findings may be from just one sample in one state, but the widespread use of Roundup and other herbicides on crops all over the country leads us to the question: just how much has this chemical (and others) contaminated our air and water in the name of GMOs?

Image source: Gary Cycles/ Flickr