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Public Comments Needed Now to Ban the Dangerous Herbicide 2,4-D

(Beyond Pesticides, February 18, 2009) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting through February 23, 2009 public comments on a petition to cancel all registrations for the herbicide 2,4-D and to revoke all of its tolerances. The petition was filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in November and published by EPA on December 24, 2008. As the most commonly used “home and garden” chemical, millions of U.S. households especially vulnerable children and pets, are exposed to this toxic chemical.

Beyond Pesticides fully supports the cancellation of this dangerous pesticide which has been associated with a host of adverse human impacts, such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, endocrine disruption, reproductive and developmental effects, as well as water contamination and toxicity to aquatic organisms. The highly toxic chemical can be replaced by cost-competitive and effective management practices widely used in organic agriculture and lawn care.

As long as 2,4-D remains on the market, the public will continue to be exposed to, and suffer the effects of this chemical whose health impacts have long been ignored by EPA. Public health and environmental advocates believe it is time that EPA put science and the health of the public and the environment first and ban this dangerous chemical.

2,4-D is one of the most widely used herbicide for the control of broadleaf weeds in commercial agriculture and residential landscapes in the U.S. About 46 million pounds of 2,4-D are used annually, with 16 million pounds used in non-agricultural settings, such as golf courses, playing fields, and residential lawns. 2,4-D was considered eligible for reregistration by the EPA in 2005 with the publication of its Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) document. However, according to advocates, extensive important scientific evidence pointing to the dangers of 2,4-D have been ignored by the agency during its risk assessment process. These include scientific observations that 2,4-D is an endocrine disruptor with predicted human health risks ranging from changes in estrogen and testosterone levels, thyroid problems, prostate cancer and reproductive abnormalities. EPA has yet to finalize a screening program to assess endocrine disruption for pesticides. According to EPA’s RED document for 2,4-D, current data “demonstrate effects on the thyroid and gonads following exposure to 2,4-D, there is concern regarding its endocrine disruption potential.” Despite this finding, the agency found 2,4-D eligible for reregistration, a fact that advocates say illustrates EPA’s flawed risk assessment process.

Along with numerous health effects that continue to be ignored, EPA removed the additional (10X) safety factor instituted to protect children from pesticide exposure. The removal of this extra safeguard for children means that children playing on lawns and fields continue to be exposed to a chemical that has known and uncertain toxicological effects from which they are not adequately protected. In fact, there are several data gaps and uncertainties in the toxicological database for 2,4-D such as, according to the RED, concern for developmental and neurotoxic effects. 2,4-D is also commonly formulated with other toxic herbicides such as dicamba and mecoprop-p (MCPP). The agency has not evaluated the cumulative effects of these chemicals, even though they are growth regulators and have the same mode of action. As such, exposures and risks posed from this combination(s) of chemicals have gone unchecked.

2,4-D is one of the oldest registered herbicides in the US. Its association with a host of human effects, including cancer, promoted a Special Review of the chemical in 1986. A few years later in a unique move, several large pesticides companies with a common interest in keeping 2,4-D on the market formed the Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data. In 2007, EPA decided not to initate a special review after all. 2,4-D, once part of the deadly duo of chemicals that made up Agent Orange, can also be contaminated with several forms of dioxin, including 2,3,7,8-TCDD, a known carcinogen. Studies have also documented that once tracked indoors from lawns, 2,4-D can stay indoors (on carpets) for up to a year. 2,4-D is also absorbed by the body more easily in the presence of sunscreen, DEET and in the consumption of alcohol.

TAKE ACTION: Tell EPA that it is time to put science and the health of the public and the environment first! Tell the agency that 2,4-D is too dangerous to remain on the market. If you would like to sign on to Beyond Pesticides’ comments, email Nichelle Harriott at [email protected] by February 22. Or submit your own comments in support of this petition at www.regulation.gov, using docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0877, no later than February 23, 2009. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. You can also send your comments via mail to Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) Regulatory Public Docket (7502P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.


65 Responses to “Public Comments Needed Now to Ban the Dangerous Herbicide 2,4-D”

  1. 1
    Aletha Says:

    Please add me to the petition. Salamat!

  2. 2
    Mary Gaston Says:

    Please add my name to the petition

  3. 3
    LW Says:

    I would like to know the name of the manufacturer of the herbicide. I can make an educated guess, but it’s best to be sure. I’ve read several of the public comments and most support use of the herbicide. I’m guessing they are “lobbyists” or have some vested interest in said manufacturer. I’m so tired of being duped by Big Agriculture.

  4. 4
    Ann Fox Says:

    please add my name to the petition to ban 2,4-D. Thankyou.

  5. 5
    Sally Snyder Says:

    Ban this stuff Now………

  6. 6
    Connie Thomas Biemiller Says:

    Please add my name to the petition of one who represents a community of 100s that have been exposed to lethal pesticides over a three month period and have since lost good friends to this atrocity.

  7. 7
    wendy Jordan Says:

    We must stop using these chemicals. They just aren’t necessary anymore and are ferociously dangerous to our youth and pets.

  8. 8
    mary clarke Says:

    these pesticides need to be discontinued.

  9. 9
    mary clarke Says:

    Add me to the petition!

  10. 10
    Jane Collins Says:

    I’ve been concerned about the use of lawn pesticides for years and their effects on children/pets. Our beloved dog died of lymphatic cancer and I truly believe it was caused by the widespread lawn pesticide use. Let’s protect our families and pets and bring back the honeybees by banning the pesticides.

  11. 11
    Citizens for a GreenCamden Says:

    Ban 2,4D now!!

  12. 12
    Beth Ford Says:

    Please add my name to the petition to stop using these pesticides.

  13. 13
    Kathryn Gilje Says:

    There are safer and effective ways to deal with weeds. We urge you to cancel all uses of 2,4-D and to protect public and environmental health.

  14. 14
    Christy LaCalameto Says:

    Please add my name to the petition to ban 2,4-D.

  15. 15
    Kim Cecchi Says:

    My son plays baseball most of the year -much of it outdoors. These chemicals must be banned for the health and safety of our children, pets and those of us adults who like to be outside. Please add my name to the petition.

  16. 16
    Miss Informed Says:

    Please people. If you want to start banning for cosmetic purposes, lets start with Febreze,Perfumes and Bounce Sheets.

  17. 17
    Lilla Rybicka Says:

    Please add my name to the petition.

  18. 18
    Tina Harvey Says:

    I wish you would listen to what you are saying. With everything there are pros and cons. A complete ban is not helpful to anyone, including the environment. Yes there are other options. But to loose a whole set of chemistry is not a smart choice. Take a look at your lifestyles and tell me that you do not use or consume something that is already causing cancer and other issues.

  19. 19
    Nathan Cook Says:

    Add me to the petition.

    My mother was exposed to 2,4-D 15 years ago. She was poisoned and left disabled, and she never recovered. Anybody who would oppose this ban doesn’t know what this chemical can do to human beings.

  20. 20
    Cloud Conrad Says:

    Please add my name to the petition to ban 2,4-D.

  21. 21
    michael walters Says:

    Please add my name to the petition

  22. 22
    Republicandog Says:

    I am delighted to learn that this vicious poison 2,4-D is being called on the carpet along with its manufacturer. Our country should be aware of just how dangerous this chemical is. Do you realize its similar to Agent Orange? and do you know the serious medical complications that have profoundly affected the health of our Vietnam Vets? It’s a travesty. Get real. Wake up.

    I cannot wait for the lawn care company that frequents my neigbors next door to ensure the outright destruction of our back yard pond and surrounding habitat (which I now a Silent Spring). And, last but not least, I cannot imagine what will happen to my baby daugher in the future. Thanks alot you selfish and greedy lawn care companies and ignorant neighbors. And this is America?

  23. 23
    Bill Garlette Says:

    Please add me to the petition.

  24. 24
    jennifer peppe hahn Says:

    I am a 36 year old hodgkins disease survivor . i am been considered cured after having part of my childhood arrested by a disease that most likely was from a few days of crop dusting near my childhood home. eight months after the fields on either side of my home were treated, i noticed a lump in my neck. i had cancer at the age of twelve…a cancer that is less likely to affect young girls than other kinds,…and a kind of lymphoma that is loosely related to 2-4-d. i can tell you, there is no other reason on all of the earth, that i had cancer, and will spend the rest of my life trooping through the long term side effects of the cure…all could have been avoided….shameful really.

  25. 25
    Lisa LaRochelle Says:

    Please add me to the petition to ban 2,4-D. Remember clover lawns require no chemicals!

  26. 26
    Robert Nelson Says:

    Some of you folks leaving a comment need to get an education. 24d is not a pesticide, as in insect killer. It is a herbicide, a weed killer. I am sure that some people using this product are not adhearing to the product warnings and it could be harmful if not used properly, however farmers and ranchers need this product in their crops and pastures. Other so called alternatives simply are not feasible and your food supply would diminish greatly if this product were removed from the market.

  27. 27
    Mary Wheeler Mcfarland RN JD Says:

    Mr. Nelson:
    These people refer to it as a pesticide because herbicides and pesticides are regulated by various Depts of Ag under one umbrella as “pesticides.”

  28. 28
    John Baptist Says:

    Allowing the continued use of deadly pesticides is a national disgrace. Haven’t we learned anything about deadly toxins the past hundred years?
    It’s a shameful fact that money is more important
    to powerful corporate officers and politicians than are human lives.

  29. 29
    Brenda K. Says:

    Ban it! Recall it from every shelf in America! A farmer gave some to my husband to use on our acre of weeds. I came home while he was spraying it, and immediately my entire body turned flaming red, I had severe stomach pains, and my first seizure ever. After a trip to the emergency room, the ER doctor recommended that I be placed on the National Pesticide list that requires a company to notify me of a spray in my area. My neighbor, however, does not have to notify me, and insists on using the product regardless of any health effects it has on me. Last week he used it without telling me, and I ended up having seizures and a myriad of other health implications. My autistic daughter ended up with a severe rash all over her body from it. Why should people have to suffer so much all for the sake of a beautiful lawn. I live in a farming community with a high rate of cancer and it just so happens, a high use of 2,4-d.

  30. 30
    k williams Says:

    Oh, this the best. Going over an email I sent writing about endocrine disruptors on my gmail account I noticed a “sponsored link” to ABC Laboratories…(big oops on their part)curious I clicked the site. They are serving the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, and were bragging how they were going to be involved with the new EPA evaluation process and how they could make it all look good on paper….just what we need more “mad” scientists willing to do anything for a buck, involved with the process. Perhaps we should demand the EPA NOT include ABC Laboratories with the process…it is their type of “science” that has brought this country to its knees in a health care crisis.

  31. 31
    Sharon Teeler Says:

    I wish there had been more publicity regarding the deadline. My neighbor just sprayed 2,4 D all over his yard this morning– and I had the window open and two small children inside who know can’t even go outside to play. I sincerely hope that the EPA will make the right choice, the moral choice, the intelligent choice. PLEASE ban 2,4 D! It’s only purpose is to kill!

  32. 32
    Marcell Byrd Says:

    I just came from the vet where my dog was diagnosed with lymphoma. Looking on the internet I’ve found information linking 24D to cancer. I have my lawn sprayed regularly and found that 24d is used. Why is this still on the market! With all the government regulations on all kinds of things, how has this known toxin been allowed to remain on the market.

  33. 33
    k williams Says:

    Marcell sorry to hear about your pup…..Because the 2,4-D task force made up entirely of chemical company
    (Charles & Conn, LLC, 5904 Treetop Ridge, Durham, North Carolina 27705; Dow AgroSciences, LLC, Indianapolis, Indiana; John Wise & Associates, Ltd., Liberty, Missouri; §BASF Aktiengesellschaft, Ludwigshafen/Rhein, Germany; and ¶The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan 48674)research touting that 2,4-D was perfectly safe and…. the government believed them?!

    If the government is going to deem it cost effective to poison us….then let them pay for damages–instead of putting the financial burden on we the people– by assuming the full responsibility of paying for ALL HEALTH CARE–Health care by the way funded entirely by all those who use and manufacture poisons–and let’s see how long the poisoning will continue…IT”S THE PERFECT FAILSAFE.

  34. 34
    farmer john Says:

    In 45 years I have never sprayed 2,4-D on my lawn, there is no reason for that. It is a broadleaf weed killer. More chemicals are misused by homeowners than any other group. It has to stop. I need a license and continuing ed. to buy chemicals. You are voting with your dollars every day. Why do you buy chemicals for your household and your lawn? Why do you buy processed food? You are always looking for big G to protect you, but you can’t protect against ignorance.

  35. 35
    Benjamin Says:

    2,4-D is dangerous.There is no justification for keeping it on the market.The studies on the toxic effects of it and the numerous poisoning cases involving it,speak for themselves.My own grandmother and younger brother died of cancer after being showered with 2,4-D from a helicopter.There was no notification and no warning.2,4-D by itself is bad enough,but the flagrant disregard for humans and the environment shown by the people who use this stuff make it even more dangerous.

  36. 36
    NOCALresistance Says:

    Has the ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION agency decided to end some of the contamination seeping into us and our spaceship? It’s almost been 1 year. Time for an update!

  37. 37
    Maria Says:

    Please get this dangerous chemical off the market, my son works with this stuff every day and I am extremely afraid of what it may do to his heath. Have we not learned enough about this product yet? How many more people have to get sick or even die from this stuff. It was used in the making of Agent Orange after all. What if it was your child?

  38. 38
    Linda Says:

    My husband and I have a small greenhouse, chemical free where we raise garden heirloom plants, and many herbs. The chemical company just sprayed the fields on all four sides of us one of the chemicals was 24d(One was 10 days ago, one 7 days. Now many of our plants are dying, including the 100 heirloom tomatoes in our garden and our seven year grape arbor.. They sprayed on a windy day 28mph, We are sick, and can’t get a legitimate answer whether all our plants will die, if my herbs are tainted and should not be used, or what my lungs look like. And what about my 11 year old labs?

  39. 39
    Grace Nashlen Says:

    Please add my name to the petition

  40. 40
    Ross and Donna Giles Says:

    Every year as soon as our garden is planted, neighboring farmers spray 24D by plane, terrigator, etc. and kill or make our tomatoes, peppers, etc. grow so gnarled, stunted, etc. that we are afraid to eat any fruit that results! Please start the petition again and add our names please!!! Thank you.

  41. 41
    Kevin & Cynthia Esping Says:

    Recently I have noticed the trees at my work are changing colors and dying. One half is dead and one half is green. I recently found out from the grounds keeper that the gravel pit over the hill had sprayed with 2-4-D from an air plane or helicopter and the wind came up and changed direction and blew the chemical 2-4-D right over the trees by the railroad tracks at my work. About a mile down the rail road tracks the trees, vines, and shrubs are all dying. I was at work the day they sprayed 2-4-D and I am worried about the health effect of exposure to 2-4-D.

  42. 42
    Karen Harvey Says:

    My pregnant daughter, her husband and their 3 children live next door to a user of this herbicide in Marthasville, MO. in the center of grapevine farmers. The closest farmer to her lost 5 tons of grapes and several 20-25 year old oak trees due to one neighbor on 5 acres spraying this herbicide for aesthetic purposes. They also drink from a well. I just pray they are ok. The aggies have been called out to investigate. Will be commenting more later.

  43. 43
    Karen Harvey Says:

    Please add my name to the petition.

  44. 44
    Juanita Bolinger Says:

    My daughter became ill with all the symthoms of poisening after the city sprayed for weeds using 2-4d. She and her dog are still sick. Her blood count is coming down, but it had been off the
    charts, showing infection in the body.She had a catscan, and other xrays,
    and is going to an eye specialist; and a
    rhumatoid arthritus specialist.

  45. 45
    Steve G. Says:

    I am a licensed aquatic applicator in Florida. I use herbicides to control non-native aquatic plants in lakes, rivers, wetlands, etc. Certain formulations of 2,4-D are labeled for use in aquatic sites. I feel it is a safe and effective herbicide when used in accordance with label instructions. What should really happpen is that the sale of ALL pesticides should be banned to persons who are not licensed; i.e homeowners. Unlicensed applicators hardly ever even read the label or if they do they quickly ignore it. They do not properly apply chemicals (generally overmixed and over applied) and the left over chemical stays in the garage until the container rots or they throw it away (to a landfill) or worse they pour it down the sink!! 2,4-D is classified as a growth regulator; it is a close cousin to rootone. P.S. if you want zero exposure to pesticides, I suggest not living anywhere near a farm.

  46. 46
    Art Phelan Says:

    Can you point us to the studies and data that you are using to make the claims in this article?


  47. 47
    Beyond Pesticides Says:

    Art – All of the studies and data on the pesticides are available on our gateway page. We have included links to each of the chemicals above, but you can also go to http://www.beyonpesticides.org/gateway.

  48. 48
    p coomer Says:

    This petition is a bit old, but I’m signing it anyway. The older I get the more sensitive I become to chemicals, but this is odd and extreme nausea, liver pain, and jaw pain after twenty minutes of pulling weeds treated with 2,4-D two weeks ago. Admittedly I did not change clothes until later that night. Day 1 post-exposure was unbearable and left me on the couch too fatigued to function. Day Two (today) I forced myself to get up and do some work and am recovering in general. Was previously quite healthy and active. Frightening stuff!

  49. 49
    Corner Garden Sue Says:

    I was out a little bit ago, digging compost and spreading it around, when I noticed our next door neighbor’s lawn guy spraying something on her grass. He had no breathing protection. I didn’t notice if he had gloves on. I came in because it’s a windy day, and I am sensitive to chemicals. I saw him getting ready to leave, so went out to ask him what he’d been spraying. He said it was 2 4 D for her nut grass. He said he told her it probably wouldn’t work, because it’s not going to be actively growing at this time of year, but said they might get lucky.

    I am searching to see if it’s safe for me to go back out with the wind blowing over her yard. I wonder how many of my plants have that on them. I have some near the fence. I am not very happy right now. I wonder if I even have some in my compost. Maybe I shouldn’t spread any more on there now.

    I think I’ll call our extension office and see if anyone there can answer my questions. Grr!

  50. 50
    Corner Garden Sue Says:

    Well, I called the extension office, and they gave me the number of our state’s Department of Agriculture. The man there asked me what kind of sprayer it was so he could determine how much the 2 4 D may have drifted.

    He told me I should be able to continue spreading my compost. He said if it did drift, it will be broken down by spring. Plus, the organic matter in the compost will help prevent plants from taking it up. I hope he’s right.

  51. 51
    June Charles Says:

    Too many people rely on the point of sale to make them feel comfortable using this stuff. If the salesman (who has little knowledge) says it’s ok or “safe” then most will use it without carefully reading the package instructions.

  52. 52
    Jill Hrabosky Says:

    I want to see this product banned from lawn service chemicals. TruGreen told me their product was pet safe. Two years later, my black lab is diagnosed with Lymphoma. He passed away Dec 31 (2011). We’re heartbroken and furious that TruGreen lied to us. They still claim they are pet safe, but acknowledging using this product. This is a cancer causing agent and needs to be banned.

  53. 53
    Patty Miller Says:

    All chemicals such as this should be banned IMHO. Not good for us, our pets, or our planet and wildlife. Please add my name to the petition to ban this product.

  54. 54
    Roberta Becker Says:

    Please do not allow Agent Orange to be used on anything that is for sale for humans or animals. My husband was affected by agent orange in Viet Nam and now has diabetis because of it. As of this time that is all he has, but the chance of his getting cancer is very high because of the exposure to it.

  55. 55
    Becky Kriebel Says:

    Please add my name to the petition.

  56. 56
    Romalda Allsup Says:

    I apparently read this too late to comment to the EPA.Three years too late.
    Is there anything I can do, anyone I can tell that I think this is another terrible idea that has little merit. If there is still a petition, I’d like my name on it!
    Please email with any other action that would help keep this stuff off the market.

  57. 57
    Beyond Pesticides Says:

    @Romalda, Though this action is now over, you can sign on to our public comments to USDA to deny Dow’s petition to allow 2,4-D tolerant corn on the market: http://bit.ly/24Dcorn

  58. 58
    Taryn Greendeer Says:

    There is no place on this earth for such a product. The insanity, fueled by power and greed, must be halted. NO 2,4-D CORN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!NO 2,4-D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  59. 59
    Sam Sleezer Says:

    Help us ask driscoll to stop spraying chemical near our children


  60. 60
    Carr L Carrier Says:

    I was personally acutely injured by a pesticide overexposure at work during a “routine” treatment of various chemicals (none disclosed) to ward off insects and rodents. As a result of the overexposure, I developed acute (now chronic) pancreatitis and a marked increase in my sensitivity to chemicals. My chemical sensitivity is constant and seems to be most heightened around synthetic pesticides/herbicides of all kinds. The springtime feels like torture with all my neighbors spraying RoundUp and the like. I literally have to leave my home for days on end when my neighbors spray. YOu have no idea how many ramifications I have suffered as a result of this overexposure. I have not even been able to keep any sort of steady employment since most workplaces use these pesticides that I am so reactive to. Please, someone, do something. I am only 37 and am effectively disabled with respect to viable employment. This is a serious waste of talent considering that I have a graduate degree and several years of professional experience under my belt. *I feel that not enough people like I am are being factored into the so-called cost-benefit analyses that are done when regulators decide whether or not to allow a chemical. Honestly, pesticides have ruined my life. Please, scale them back. If it were up to me, they’d be eliminated entirely, but at the very least, pesticide manufacturers should be required to disclose what is in their products (inerts). Moreover, there should be TRULY independent analyses done of these chemicals’ ‘safety’. The conflict of interest present in the current system is just appalling. We do no need pesticides, even though the marketing machines at these companies like to blow a lot of hot PR air about how much we do. As a rebuttal to the most common misconceptions about “why we supposedly need pesticides”, please see this PANNA compendium dispelling the myths:


    **Please refer

  61. 61
    Francine Says:

    I just had to put down my 10 yr. old beloved Black Lab. She had lymphoma. I live in AZ and even though we kept her in the house after the weeds were sprayed, I know she walked on the ground within 24 hours of the spraying.
    My husband has cancer from Agent Orange (VietNam vet). No wonder 1 out of 3 dogs gets cancer in their lifetime – and 1 out of four humans. Way to go, Monsanto, 3M, Dow. I wish nothing but the same for you and your families.

  62. 62
    John Robert Says:

    This stuff is just awful. My neighbors lawn care company uses this stuff and the dog they have has a bad head twitch, gee I wonder what caused that?

  63. 63
    Omar Awad Says:

    please add my name to the petition to ban 2,4-D.

  64. 64
    sage pantega Says:

    please stop we have enough synthetic poisons chemicals in the world we dont need more

  65. 65
    don Says:

    To those who say 2 4 d is safe I say put your money where your big mouth is. I would mix a table spoon full in a glass of water and say drink it don’t worry you just said it was safe. That would tell they are lying or not.

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