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The Places in America that Use the Most (and Least) Pesticides

With the recent second verdict where a jury ruled that Roundup weedkiller contributed to a man’s cancer, controversial pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are once again in the news.

These chemicals, particularly the herbicide glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) have long played a role in American agriculture, but their health risks are only now being understood. As a result, thousands of cancer lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto, the company that invented Roundup, and Monsanto’s new parent company, Bayer AG.

We decided to analyze data to uncover which states in the United States had the most and least exposure to pesticides, herbicides and other agricultural chemicals, with a particular focus on glyphosate, the active ingredient that is in the news right now. We looked at data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to see which compounds were most popular and which locations had the highest usage levels of these chemicals.