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Recruitment Begins for Study of Glyphosate Exposure Among Pregnant Women

Curl Health Lab Logo - women who is pregnant inside a tree design

Cynthia Curl, director for the Center for Excellence in Environmental Health and Safety, is recruiting for a study on herbicide levels in pregnant women. Curl was awarded a three-year, $457,537 grant from the National Institutes of Health to measure the levels of glyphosate, the active ingredient in herbicides like Roundup, among pregnant women.

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Cynthia Curl

There is emerging literature suggesting that exposure to glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides may affect reproduction and may adversely affect developing fetuses. Curl’s research will attempt to quantify how much glyphosate pregnant women are exposed to and how that exposure is occurring.

Participant recruitment began in January 2020, in collaboration with Women and Infant Children clinics across Southwestern and Central Idaho. Half of the participants (20 women) will be recruited from areas near agricultural fields treated with glyphosate, and the other half (20 women) from urban areas. This study will compare glyphosate exposure between these groups of women.

Study participants will also take part in an organic diet intervention. During this intervention, they will be provided with a fully organic diet for seven days, and a fully conventional diet for seven days. This study will then compare glyphosate exposure based on diet, and will allow the researchers to attribute overall glyphosate exposure to both agricultural and dietary sources.

To be eligible to participate in this study, a woman must:

  • Be between the ages of 18-35.
  • Be in her first trimester of pregnancy.
  • Be a non-smoker.
  • Not work with pesticides or live with anyone who works with pesticides.
  • Only eat conventional food and have no plan to switch to an organic diet during pregnancy.

As compensation, participants will receive free food for two weeks and up to a $160 grocery store gift card. To learn more, please contact Cynthia Curl at or (208) 426-3923.