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Ask a Question

If you have questions on how to apply 2,4-D, always follow the directions and precautions on the pesticide product’s container.

If you have questions about the molecule and its record, check out the FAQs below or ask your own!

Question?

FAQ’s

What is 2,4-D?

Answer

2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, more commonly referred to as 2,4-D, is one of the most widely used herbicides in the world to control weeds in agricultural crops, forests and turf grass as well as invasive species in environmentally sensitive areas.

How does 2,4-D work?

Answer

2,4-D was the first selective herbicide. It destroys broadleaf plants (dicots -plants with two seed leaves) and leaves thin leaf plants (monocots – plants with one seed leaf) alone. It causes the broadleaf plants to essentially grow itself to death while leaving plants like wheat, corn, rice, and many others to thrive.

What does Health Canada say about 2,4-D?

Answer

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has determined that 2,4-D may be used safely according to label directions. With specific regard to use on lawns, the PMRA stated:

“Health Canada has determined that 2,4-D meets Canada’s strict health and safety standards. Risks to homeowners and their children from contact with treated lawns and turf are not of concern.”

Is 2,4-D an endocrine disruptor?

Answer

No, 2,4-D is not an endocrine disruptor. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reviewed this in its 2005 decision, and reassessed during its most recent NRDC petition response. In both instances the EPA determined that 2,4-D was not an endocrine disruptor.

Does 2,4-D cause cancer in people?

Answer

Worldwide, no pesticide regulatory agency classifies 2,4-D as a human or animal carcinogen.

Over 75 years of ongoing research have conclusively shown that the weight of evidence finds no correlation between 2,4-D and cancer.

Homeowners should continue to use herbicides in accordance with label directions and restrict access during and immediately following the application of products containing 2,4 D to maximize its efficiency and limit potential exposure.

Does 2,4-D cause cancer in dogs?

Answer

Worldwide, no pesticide regulatory agency classifies 2,4-D as a human or animal carcinogen.

Multiple studies, including the 1999 study conducted at the School of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University, conclude that there is no correlation between 2,4-D and canine cancer. Regulatory decisions around the world confirm that 2,4-D is not an animal carcinogen.

Homeowners should continue to use herbicides in accordance with label directions and restrict access during and immediately following the application of products containing 2,4 D to maximize its efficiency and limit potential exposure.

Is 2,4-D harmful to children?

Answer

No, 2,4-D is not harmful to children when used in accordance with label directions. Specific risk assessments for children, taking into consideration their unique physiology, diets, behaviors and play-habits (including their body weight and hand-to-mouth contact while playing on treated grass), are undertaken before a pesticide is granted a registration in both the United States and Canada.

Are pesticides like 2,4-D adequately researched?

Answer

Yes, 2,4-D is heavily researched. More is known about 2,4-D and how it works than almost any other crop protection tool.

The toxicology database alone exceeds 4,000 peer-reviewed, published studies, plus hundreds of scientific studies that manufacturers of 2,4-D must provide to regulatory agencies throughout the world so registrations of products containing 2,4-D are kept current. There are now more than 160 peer-reviewed, published epidemiologic (human) studies pertinent to 2,4-D. The industry research Task Force has taken the additional steps of publishing the research data submitted to regulators in peer-reviewed journals.

What does IARC’s score of 2B mean?

Answer

Back in 2015, the organization IARC assembled a working group to review a number of compounds including 2,4-D. They voted to classify 2,4-D a ‘2B – Possible’ carcinogen, the same ranking they have given to, among other things, coffee, pickles, and being a hairdresser. The panel concluded, “there is inadequate evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of 2,4-D” because “epidemiological studies did not find strong or consistent increases in risk of NHL or other cancers in relation to 2,4-D exposure.”

Is 2,4-D Agent Orange?

Answer

No. EPA has called equating 2,4-D with Agent Orange “an urban myth,” noting that the Agency “cancelled the component of Agent Orange that made it dangerous” 30 years ago. 2,4-D was not the ingredient of concern and EPA “considers it [2,4 D] safe when used according to EPA-approved labeling.”

Are bystanders to turf applications exposed to 2,4-D?

Answer

The most recent research demonstrates that there were no detectable exposures for bystanders who reside in homes of homeowner or commercially treated lawns or for barefoot, barelegged bystanders who actively walked or sat on turf grass for one hour 24 hours after application.

Several researchers at the University of Guelph, in Canada, have completed studies on human exposure to applications of 2,4-D for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. These studies show the highest observed exposures for homeowners and commercial applicators were well below the lifetime ADI (acceptable daily intake) as established by the World Health Organization.

Does 2,4-D contaminate groundwater?

Answer

No, the rapid breakdown of 2,4-D minimizes the potential for movement in soil, and greater than 90 – 95 percent dissipates in the top six inches of soil.

Eventually 2,4-D breaks down to CO2 and is integrated into other carbon compounds in the soil. Any findings of 2,4-D in ground water have been extremely rare. These have been attributed to spot contamination or spills near water wells or unique soil conditions with high rainfall or irrigation shortly following application.

Is 2,4-D banned in some countries?

Answer

In some countries, the market size or product use restrictions do not warrant the cost of maintaining registrations. 2,4-D is registered for use in more than 90 countries.