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Use of herbicide 2-4D  RSS feed

 
                            
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I read the comment on the website that an amount the size of a roll of lifesavers rubbed on the skin of 4 kindergartners would kill two of them.  There appears to be no such risk of anything serious with this herbicide according to the manufacturer.  Was this just some posturing denouncing the use of chemical herbicides which, by the way, is just fine with me.  I'd just like to know if the stuff is indeed really bad should I ever come across it's use when I am in the field!

Regards,

Gangreen Thumb
 
Emerson White
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Location: Alaska
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The LD50  data for 2,4-D (2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic_acid) in rats is 639 mg/kg orally, assuming it is similar for a child and that the average 5 year old ways 20 Kilo's that is 12.78grams for an LD50. One lifesaver is 2.0 grams. So no, your information is not correct. However its pretty difficult to get exposed to that much herbicide. but yes, these are very toxic compounds.

ETA: just noticed that you said roll of lifesavers, that's 20 grams so a roll on one child would be well above the LD50, and roll spread over 4 would be well below the LD50.
 
Chuck Freeman
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2,4,D was one of the main components of Agent Orange. I put that garbage right down there with Round-up.
 
Emerson White
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2,4-D is much more dangerous than roundup. But most of the damage of Agent Orange was caused by the dioxins, which are several orders of magnitude worse than 2,4-D, and much more stable in the environment.
 
gary gregory
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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The wind carried 2-4D 2 miles from being sprayed on a wheat field to my tomato crop in eastern washington and killed half the leaves.
 
Emerson White
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gary gregory wrote:
The wind carried 2-4D 2 miles from being sprayed on a wheat field to my tomato crop in eastern washington and killed half the leaves.

I hope you sued the ever loving snot out of them.
 
gary gregory
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Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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Emerson White wrote:
I hope you sued the ever loving snot out of them.

Didn't occur to me but it did teach me to start washing my veggies more thoroughly.
 
Emil Spoerri
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Anyone ever read that horror story of 2-4D being forcibly sprayed on a horse farm by government because of invasive weeds growing? The horses ate the grass and most of them died. The grass does not die, but it is not the same as it was before and contains poisons. There were many rare horses that died.
The way I am aware is that Mutagens alter our food so that they are no longer in any way nutritious.
 
Emerson White
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asmileisthenewak47 wrote:
Anyone ever read that horror story of 2-4D being forcibly sprayed on a horse farm by government because of invasive weeds growing? The horses ate the grass and most of them died. The grass does not die, but it is not the same as it was before and contains poisons. There were many rare horses that died.
The way I am aware is that Mutagens alter our food so that they are no longer in any way nutritious.



It's 2,4-D not 2-4D, the punctuation is actually very important, more important than the numbers themselves.

Our foods are less nutritious because we have been selectively breeding for thousands of years for longer shelf life. That comes at a cost nutritiously, so do many preservation techniques. However 2,4-d is not a particularly potent mutagen, so low that it is not classed as mutagenic, it's not a carcinogen either. It's a shame about the horses, I hope they sued. 2,4-D only works on dicots, so I wouldn't expect it to kill grass. It's actually used to manage pasture because it isn't particularly toxic to horses at the effective dosage.

I don't know how it is toxic to animals at a biochemical/pharmecological level, but it is unrelated to its mode of action on plants, because we do not share the auxin hormonal system with them.

 
gary gregory
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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This is out of context, but from a USDA website.
Unless steps are taken to mitigate risks, workers involved in the application of 2,4-D and
members of the general pubic who consume vegetation contaminated with 2,4-D could be
exposed to 2,4-D levels greater than those which are generally regarded as acceptable.  In some
cases, the exceedances are substantial.  Similarly, adverse effects in the normal use of 2,4-D salts
or esters could occur in groups of nontarget organisms including terrestrial and aquatic plants,
mammals, and possibly birds.  Adverse effects on aquatic animals are not likely with
formulations of 2,4-D salts except for accidental and extreme exposures at the upper ranges of
application rates.  The ester formulations of 2,4-D are much more toxic to aquatic animals and
adverse effects are plausible in sensitive species and sometimes in relatively tolerant species. 
The results of this risk assessment suggest that consideration should be given to alternate
herbicides and that the use of 2,4-D should be limited to situations where other herbicides are
ineffective or to situations in which the risks posed by 2,4-D can be mitigated.


http://www.fs.fed.us/foresthealth/pesticide/pdfs/093006_24d.pdf

One of my fears about herbicides and pesticides is can I trust the applicators to carefully follow the recommended rates.
 
Emerson White
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gary gregory wrote:
One of my fears about herbicides and pesticides is can I trust the applicators to carefully follow the recommended rates.


No, no you cannot. You cannot trust people to do most things well, people just aren't good at consistent.
 
Deb Berman
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In case anyone is actually following this any more: 2,4-D has been shown in at least two epidemiological studies to be a human carcinogen.  And the last time I looked at the tox data it was looking like Roundup was following the same pattern.

For those who are interested in these sorts of things, the CEO of the company that did the original tox testing on 2,4-D was indicted (and later jailed) for falsifying data.  I assume it was retested, but I don't actually know.
 
Emerson White
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I had not heard about the company that did safety testing on it 50+ years ago. More recent studies seem divided between it not being a carcinogen in humans to it being possibly a very slight carcinogen in humans. In studies where people have large exposures very low rises in the cancer rates are seen some of the time, and not others. It may make it appear that cancer rates are increasing when they are not because the kind of person who gets a large exposure to 2,4-D is more likely than the average person to get exposure to something comparatively more nasty.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Emerson White wrote:Our foods are less nutritious because we have been selectively breeding for thousands of years for longer shelf life. That comes at a cost nutritiously, so do many preservation techniques. However 2,4-d is not a particularly potent mutagen


I'd like to point out two, tangentially-related topics:

We've been co-evolving with our crops. Domesticated plants only do well if the society that keeps them, thrives. I think a lot of our crops have been bred to be more nutritious, by way of their competitors' keepers being less healthy. Similarly, our crops have verifiably been breeding us: humans have lots of extra starch-breaking compounds in our saliva, at least those strains of us who have long depended on grains or similar.

Secondly, a lot of genetic diversity doesn't come from mutations resulting from chemical or radiation damage, but from parts of the genome that are, so to speak, set to shuffle. Part of the amazing adaptability of chickens is that they maintain their genetic diversity even in the face of fairly severe inbreeding, and this seems to be part of their nature. By contrast, mutagens and ionizing radiation don't seem to have all that much effect on subsequent generations; they tend to lead to apoptosis, and maybe cancer, but not much farther.
 
Deb Berman
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The company was Industrial Biotest  and is was in the late 70s/early 80s. The epidemiological studies were in the 80s maybe early 90s.  One was a Swedish study and at least one was a study of farmers (I think they both were but its been a while.)   
 
                        
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Location: South Central Idaho
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Trust your nose. 24D smells absolutely horrible. I had a wind gust put mist I was spraying into my eyes .. they have never been the same. I had a mask on but did not cover my eyes. Take a shower after using it and wash your clothes. It is that bad. I seldom have a weed problem that I consider bad enough to make me ever use it again.
 
Emerson White
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
I'd like to point out two, tangentially-related topics:

We've been co-evolving with our crops. Domesticated plants only do well if the society that keeps them, thrives. I think a lot of our crops have been bred to be more nutritious, by way of their competitors' keepers being less healthy. Similarly, our crops have verifiably been breeding us: humans have lots of extra starch-breaking compounds in our saliva, at least those strains of us who have long depended on grains or similar.

abolutely true, we are uniquely adapted to survive on junk food, people can live well past breeding age on soda pop and hostess snack cakes.
Secondly, a lot of genetic diversity doesn't come from mutations resulting from chemical or radiation damage, but from parts of the genome that are, so to speak, set to shuffle. Part of the amazing adaptability of chickens is that they maintain their genetic diversity even in the face of fairly severe inbreeding, and this seems to be part of their nature. By contrast, mutagens and ionizing radiation don't seem to have all that much effect on subsequent generations; they tend to lead to apoptosis, and maybe cancer, but not much farther.


The mutations that lead to cancer tend to come from chemical, radiation, or organisms. I think you are selling random mutations short in their role in evolution.
 
                                      
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Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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gary gregory wrote:
The wind carried 2-4D 2 miles from being sprayed on a wheat field to my tomato crop in eastern washington and killed half the leaves.


That's it; post application volatilization. I have experienced it. Gave me the first asthma attacks I had had since childhood.
Did not make the connection and later would up with chronic asthma - I blame the 24D. Applying it in summer in high temperatures is prohibited on the label but it gets done anyway; hence my experience. Found I had trouble breathing at night, "what is that funny chemical smell coming in the window". Then came years of asthma.

That's probably what killed your tomatoes too, not spray or mist but fumes from PAV carried over the breezes at night and for days afterward.
 
Emerson White
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I don't think I've seen much evidence of Asthma associated with 2,4-D, most of what I've seen lately has pointed to a misbalanced microbial fauna/flora as the ultimate cause of asthma, though that would not rule out chemical exposure as a proximate cause. It's really tempting to say post hoc, ergo propter hoc; but it is also a very shaky position.
 
                                      
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Emerson White wrote:
I don't think I've seen much evidence of Asthma associated with 2,4-D, most of what I've seen lately has pointed to a misbalanced microbial fauna/flora as the ultimate cause of asthma, though that would not rule out chemical exposure as a proximate cause. It's really tempting to say post hoc, ergo propter hoc; but it is also a very shaky position.


Thanks for the feedback Emerson. I am living proof that PAV 2,4-D fumes can cause asthma, i.e. trigger an asthma attack.
Of course it was 24d in combination with my being negligent about chemical exposure, exhaust smoke, dust, pollen, not wearing dust masks, etc etc . The 24d _triggered_ the initial attack which led to chronic asthma. Years later didn't use the corticosteroid as directed and wound up one winter with pneumonia and exacerbated asthma attack, 4 days in hospital. Now I have NO asthma at all!! Knock on wood. Free of the scourge and expense finally!
 
Have you seen Paul's rant on CFLs?
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