Author(s): HsinLing Lee, HowRan Guo
Glyphosate ([N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine] , CAS Number 1017-83-6) is the active ingredient of Roundup ® , a common nonselective weed control agent. A variety of glyphosate-based formulations are registered in many countries under different brand names. The glyphosate–surfactant herbicide (GlySH) is usually a formulated commercial product containing glyphosate salts, such as isopropylamine, diammonium, potassium, trimesium, or sesquisodium salt. A GlySH commonly used in Taiwan contains 41% glyphosate as the isopropylamine salt (CAS Number 38641-94-0), water, and a variable amount of surfactant. The main surfactant used in GlySH products worldwide is polyoxyethyleneamine (CAS Number 61791-26-2) . GlySH, an alternative to paraquat, has been used in suicide attempts in Taiwan an d many countries in the Asia-Pacific region (Sawada et al., 1988; Menkes et al., 1991; Tomi nack et al., 1991; Talbot et al., 1991; Hung et al., 1997; Lee et al., 2000; Stel la and Ryan, 2004; van der and Konradsen, 2006; Lee et al., 2008; Roberts et al., 2010). The case fatality ra tes were around 1.9 to 16 % (Sawada et al., 1988; Tominack et al., 1991; Talbot et al., 1991; Hu ng et al., 1997; Lee, et al., 2000; Suh et al., 2007), and a large study by the Poison Control Ce nter (PCC) of Taiwan, which included 2186 cases of GlySH poisoning from 1986-2007, reported a case fatality rate of 7.2% (Chen et al., 2009). However, a much higher fatality rate up to 29.3% has been found in a recent study (Lee et al., 2008). Obviously, it continues to be a public health problem that calls for concerns.