Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide that is used globally to combat the spread of weeds among crops. Not all countries around the world have been using the herbicide. For example, island countries such as Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis do not use the herbicide on their crops. However, St. Kitts and Nevis imports food and other agricultural products from around the world, leading to the hypothesis that glyphosate is contaminating the soil through those imported products. The aim of this research project was to determine if glyphosate is present in the island country of St. Kitts and Nevis. A field test that will provide a rapid yes/no indication of the presence of glyphosate in sand samples on the islands and in food samples entering St. Kitts and Nevis was developed. Various models of contamination were studied, and a model experiment was set up a simulate possible contamination scenario. A model experiment was conducted simulating rainwater washing glyphosate from food scraps into the surrounding area. Tomatoes were chosen to simulate the food scraps and were tested for glyphosate contamination. After conducting the model experiment, the sand underneath the food scraps as well as the water runoff were tested for glyphosate. From the experiment, a glyphosate concentration of 322.7 ppm was calculated in the internal tomato. Also from the raindrop model experiment, 51.9 ppm glyphosate was detected in the sand samples and 17.0 ppm glyphosate was detected in the collected runoff water. Therefore, since glyphosate was recovered in both areas tested in the raindrop experiment, it proves that glyphosate can be introduced into the environment through imported foods contaminated with glyphosate.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Fu, Winston, "A Model Experiment to Investigate the Possibility of Glyphosate Contamination in St. Kitts and Nevis" (2020). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 707.