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Definition of glyphosate:
Glyphosate was first used as a herbicide in 1973. It's one of the world's most widely used herbicides and is used in 130 countries for the weed control of more than 100 crops[1]. It occurs as a white crystalline solid[2].
This is the common definition for glyphosate, other definitions can be discussed in the article



The glyphosate is used as a herbicide to control a number of broadleaf weeds and grasses. The principal food use sites include corn, wheat, sorghum, citrus and stone fruits, potatoes and onions, asparagus, coffee, peanuts, and pineapples. There are also a number of non-food use sites including ornamental, turf, forestry, and industrial rights-of-way (rail road tracks)[2].

Although it is rather soluble in water (11,6 g/l), in application sites, glyphosate adsorbs to soils and should stay in the top 15 cm. This reduces its exposure to surface waters and the marine environment. Glyphosate is a rather unstable molecule that can be biodegraded. In most environments, its half-life is less than 30 days, although in some cases it takes up to 174 days to half its environmental concentration. Glyphosate is usually biodegraded to AMPA[1]

Glyphosate doesn't have a tendency to bioaccumulate or biomagnify[2].

Concentrations of 10µg/l might cause acute toxicity in one water flea species, while other zooplankton species can tolerate short exposure to glyphosate concentrations of 25 mg/l[3]. Concentrations which cause acute toxicity in fish range from 5 mg/l to 19 g/l, depending on the species[4]

Environmental standards and legislation

Included in the water framework list of priority substances


The main author of this article is Daphnis De Pooter
Please note that others may also have edited the contents of this article.

Citation: Daphnis De Pooter (2020): Glyphosate. Available from [accessed on 20-04-2024]