A recent Argentinean study found that 85 percent of tampons, gauze, and other cotton personal care products contain glyphosate, a key ingredient found in Monsanto’s Roundup. After the World Health Organization declared the pesticide a probable carcinogen, researchers began looking at the various ways people come into contact with the chemical outside the crop fields. It’s known that many food products contain glyphosate, causing people to unknowingly ingest it, but a preliminary study of cotton personal care products makes it clear how pervasive the chemical has really become – and how it could be hiding in items you entrust with your health.

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Earlier this year, the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm stated its finding that glyphosate “probably” causes cancer, prompting many world governments to impose strict restrictions on its usage. Still, the pesticide is used widely on crops like corn, soy and cotton. The chemical is known to be stored in crops it is used on, and as a result, it winds up on the dinner plates of people across the globe. Researchers at the University of La Plata in Argentina wanted to look into other possible sources of contamination, so they investigated cotton hygiene products like gauze, swabs, wipes, and feminine care products such as tampons and sanitary pads.

Related: Mark Ruffalo confronts Monsanto chief: “You are poisoning people.” 

The preliminary results of the tests showed 85 percent of samples contained glyphosate, and 62 percent also tested positive for AMPA (or aminomethylphosphonic acid), a derivative of glyphosate. The results were presented to the third national congress of Doctors of Fumigated Towns in Buenos Aires. Dr. Medardo Avila Vazquez, president of the congress, said the result of this research is “very serious when you use cotton or gauze to heal wounds or for personal hygiene uses, thinking they are sterilized products, and the results show that they are contaminated with a probably carcinogenic substance.”

Glyphosate has been used so widely in agriculture the chemical has found its way into a variety of foods and other products that people use on a daily basis. It has even been detected in troubling levels in the breast milk of American mothers. Its overuse has also been linked to wheat sensitivity and staggering increases in autism rates.

Via EcoWatch

Images via Shutterstock 1, 2 and Mike Mozart/Flickr