Comment 14617

By Trey (registered) | Posted November 27, 2007 at 16:13:11

o look a website designed for the chemical companies and the companies that do their bidding (ie WeedMan), to make sure we continue to consume their poison.

2,4-D was invented during the Second World War solely for military purposes, widespread use of this herbicide on suburban lawns in Canada dates only to the post-Vietnam War period, when the accumulation of Agent Orange's two ingredients--herbicides 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D--prompted chemical companies to seek a lucrative disposal for these synthetic substances after the military stopped buying it to defoliate the jungles of Vietnam.

Agent Orange, given its name from the 55 U.S. gallon orange-striped barrels it was shipped in, is a roughly 1:1 mixture of two phenoxy herbicides in ester form, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T).

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified 2,4-D among the phenoxy acid herbicides MCPA and 2,4,5-T as a class 2B carcinogen-possibly carcinogenic to humans. (IARC monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans: An updating of IARC Monographs volumes 1 to 42. Supplement 7, WHO, Lyon, France 1987.)

Proper application of herbicide protects the applicator, but has no effect on the toxicity of the product. After all, it is meant to be toxic and kills precisely when used as directed.

Concern over 2,4-D is such that it is currently not approved for use on lawns and gardens in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Kuwait and the Canadian province of Québec. 2,4-D use is severely restricted in the country of Belize. In Canada, well over 135 municipalities have placed bylaws that restrict the cosmetic use of pesticides, including the use of herbicides containing 2,4-D. Include Hamilton in that 135 municipalities, although the city has decided it's okay to spray on playgrounds, but agrees that their use should be controlled -- a rather odd set of values.

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