Glyphosate and AMPA levels in human urine samples and their correlation with food consumption: results of the cross-sectional KarMeN study in Germany.
Glyphosate (N-[phosphonomethyl]-glycine) is the most widely used herbicide worldwide. Due to health concerns about glyphosate exposure, its continued use is controversially discussed. Biomonitoring is an important tool in safety evaluation and this study aimed to determine exposure to glyphosate and its metabolite AMPA, in association with food consumption data, in participants of the cross-sectional KarMeN study (Germany). Glyphosate and AMPA levels were measured in 24-h urine samples from study participants (n = 301). For safety evaluation, the intake of glyphosate and AMPA was calculated based on urinary concentrations and checked against the EU acceptable daily intake (ADI) value for glyphosate. Urinary excretion of glyphosate and/or AMPA was correlated with food consumption data. 8.3% of the participants (n = 25) exhibited quantifiable concentrations (> 0.2 µg/L) of glyphosate and/or AMPA in their urine. In 66.5% of the samples, neither glyphosate (< 0.05 µg/L) nor AMPA (< 0.09 µg/L) was detected. The remaining subjects (n = 76) showed traces of glyphosate and/or AMPA. The calculated glyphosate and/or AMPA intake was far below the ADI of glyphosate. Significant, positive associations between urinary glyphosate excretion and consumption of pulses, or urinary AMPA excretion and mushroom intake were observed. Despite the widespread use of glyphosate, the exposure of the KarMeN population to glyphosate and AMPA was found to be very low. Based on the current risk assessment of glyphosate by EFSA, such exposure levels are not expected to pose any risk to human health. The detected associations with consuming certain foods are in line with reports on glyphosate and AMPA residues in food.