2,4-D Is Killing Me

One of the Agent Orange Association of Canada's mandates is to provide information and education to the general public about the use of pesticides and herbicides. It is part of our mission statement which we have all sworn to uphold.

What is 2,4-D? Skull & Crossbones.jpg

2,4-D is a moderately persistent chemical with a half- life between 20 and 200 days.Unfortunately, the herbicide does not affect target weeds alone. It can cause low growth rates, reproductive problems, changes in appearance or behaviour, or death in non-target species.


2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid is one of the most common and most toxic herbicides used on US and Canadian
lawns and gardens. 2,4-D has a notorious past. It was one of the two chemicals in the defoliants Agent Orange and Agent Purple. It was also one of the two chemicals in Agent White.

These carcinogenic herbicides were heavily used during the Vietnam War and now t
he Vietnamese population and Vietnam war veterans are haunted by the horrific effects of these herbicides, including miscarriages, birth defects, and cancer.

Presently, 2,4-D is one of the top five herbicides used most frequently by professional lawn care
applicators. Lawn care companies used to put a skull and crossbones sign on your lawn after they sprayed, now they put a figure of a human with a slash through it, meaning that you should not walk on any sprayed area.

You only have to watch the applicators who work for the lawn care companies to notice that they wear rubber gloves, rubber boots and a mask.

If this chemical is so harmless as supporters of the use of this chemical claim, then why the protection? Why the signage?

2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic is being banned by municipalites, provinces and countries worldwide. In turn, the lawn care industry is fighting back with misleading information and science that is questionable as to the safety of this herbicide.

The following organizations support the banning of 2,4-D

Agent Orange Association of Canada
Canadian Cancer Society
Canadian Medical Association
Canadian Public Health Association
Ontario College of Family Physicians - For their study on pesticides/herbicides (click here)
Ontario Public Health Association
Registered Nurses Association of Ontario
Childrens Hospital of Eastern Ontario
Humane Society of Canada
Ottawa Humane Society

Despite industry efforts claiming the safety of this chemical, there is a large body of evidence indicating major health effects from cancer to immunosuppression, reproductive damage to neurotoxicity. The teratogenic, neurotoxic, immunosuppressive, cytotoxic and hepatoxic effects of 2,4-D have
been well documented.

The report by the Ontario College of Physicians linked 2,4-D exposure during pregnancy and childhood to a two-fold increase in the incidence of leukemia
and in their study they also found links to sterility, respiratory problems, atrophy and non-hodgkins lymphoma.

Sweden, Norway and Denmark have de-registered the use of 2,4-D. The Province of Quebec enacted legislation banning the sale
and use of toxic lawn and garden chemicals, such as 2,4-D in 2006. More than 70 Canadian municipalities, includingToronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Halifax have pesticide/herbicide bylaws. The list is growing monthly

Pesticide companies say that the Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) of Health Canada has approved 2,4-D, and it is
safe when used as directed.

But 2,4-D manufacturers spend millions of dollars each year pressuring governments worldwide to re-register
2,4-D based on safety studies which they fund. W5, an investigative news program, exposed another pesticide industry strategy by reporting that PMRA receives 25% of its funding from pesticide manufacturers
.

When a government agency responsible for reviewing and certifying a product receives funding from the manufacturers of that product, all transparency and accountability is corrupted.

In 2003, the Auditor General of Canada stated: "...the PMRA isnot adequately ensuring that many pesticides used in Canada meet current standards for protecting health and the quality of the environment".

The Auditor General of Canada concluded that the lack of reliable information on pesticide use,
exposure, and impacts is a major hurdle that continues to interfere with the Agencys ability to regulate pesticides..."

For more information on 2,4-D see the following link

www.sierraclub.ca/national/programs/health-environment/pesticides/2-4-D-overview.pdf)

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