May 3, 2019 — In the third Roundup cancer lawsuit to go to trial, an expert warned lawyers to use gloves when touching bottles of Roundup because it is absorbed by the skin.

Toxicologist William Sawyer testified on behalf of Alva and Alberta Pilliod, a married couple in their 70s who are both suffering from aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma after decades of using Roundup.

Sawyer told attorneys to put on gloves before they touch open bottles of Roundup because the active ingredient, glyphosate, is a dangerous chemical that is absorbed by the skin and stored in the body for days.

Sawyer criticized Monsanto for not conducting any long-term safety studies of Roundup in animals. He also criticized Monsanto for claiming that glyphosate was the only risky chemical in Roundup.

The Pilliods used a Roundup product that contained a chemical called POEA (polyethoxylated tallow amine) that makes glyphosate 50X more toxic than glyphosate alone, which is why it is banned in Europe.

Sawyer said that after glyphosate is absorbed by the skin, it is stored under the top layer of skin in a “chemical reserve,” where it is slowly released to the body and bones for at least 7 days.

Sawyer’s testimony was refuted by Monsanto’s expert, Robert N. Phalen, who said that less than 1% of the glyphosate in Roundup is absorbed by the skin and it is “rapidly” excreted from the body.

Monsanto is facing 11,200 additional lawsuits from people with lymphoma who used Roundup. Two previous lawsuits ended in juries awarding multi-million dollar verdicts in favor of people with cancer.

The lawsuit is In RE: Pilliod v. Monsanto Co.Case No. RG17862702 in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Alameda.

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