2,4-D Toxicity


No personal opinions are expressed in this article. These notes are taken from published medical science papers indexed by the US National Library of Congress. They index only peer reviewed papers published in reputable journals. Industry literature, publications and pseudo-science are not indexed and industry funded research unless declared and proven totally independent is rejected. More details can be found on the libraries PubMed website using the PMID number.
This poison is the active ingredient in commercial products such as Graze-on  

Commercial use of preparations containing this poison has been shown in medical surveys to increase the incident of heart attack and diabetes (type 2) as well as cause thyroid conditions in the population. High triglycerides and low cholesterol is an indicator of past exposure. PMID: 20187939

The current surge of autism could be related to transient maternal low thyroid function resulting from dietary and/or environmental exposure to antithyroid agents. Environmental contaminants interfere with thyroid function including 60% of all herbicides, in particular 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), acetochlor, aminotriazole, amitrole, bromoxynil, pendamethalin, mancozeb, and thioureas. Early maternal low thyroid in the foetal (baby’s) brain during the period of neuronal cell migration (weeks 8-12 of pregnancy) may produce brain changes leading to autism. PMID: 17651757

Cancers, exposure to pesticides is recognized as an important environmental risk factor associated with development of cancer. Population studies have linked phenoxy acid herbicides with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and Soft Tissue Sarcoma (STS); organochlorine insecticides with STS, NHL, and leukemia; organophosphorous compounds with NHL and leukemia; and triazine herbicides with ovarian cancer. Studies have also found a significant increased risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) by exposure to 2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid (2,4-D). PMID: 17119216

Asthma, several pesticides, such as organophosphates, phenoxyacetic acid (including 2,4-D), and carbamate have a high risk of affecting human health, causing allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma-like diseases. Recent animal studies have clarified this showing that 2,4-D is a respiratory allergen and BRP and furathiocarb are contact allergens. PMID: 19467290

Behaviour changes, exposure to 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) has several deleterious effects on the nervous system such as alterations in the concentrations of neurotransmitters in the brain and/or behavioural changes, myelination (breakdown of the nerve sheaths), and ganglioside pattern (alteration of brain, liver, spleen and blood cells). Increased sensitivity in dopamine D(2) (neurotransmitter) brain receptors, central nervous system myelin deficit and associated behavioural changes. Animal studies have confirmed exposure to 2,4-D during the first post partum days of pregnancy produced changes in maternal behaviour, and serum neurotransmitter levels in mothers. PMID: 18420331

They exhibit a variety of mechanisms of toxicity including dose-dependent cell membrane damage, uncoupling and disruption of energy pathway metabolism. Acute symptoms include vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhoea, hypotension (fainting dizziness), which is common, vasodilatation (low blood pressure) and direct myocardial (heart ) toxicity may also contribute. Coma, hypertonia (muscle spasm), hyperreflexia (uncontrolled joints), ataxia (shakes staggers), nystagmus (uncontrolled eye movement), miosis (pupils constrict), hallucinations, convulsions, fasciculation (muscle flicker) and paralysis may then ensue. Hypoventilation (frequent shallow breathing) is commonly secondary to CNS (nervous system) depression but respiratory (lung) muscle weakness is a factor in the development of breathing failure in some patients. Muscle symptoms including limb muscle weakness, loss of reflexes, muscle cramp and increased muscle breakdown have been observed. Metabolic acidosis, heart muscle disease, kidney failure, increased protein breakdown, fever and hyperventilation have been reported. PMID: 15578861

Substantial dermal (skin) exposure to 2,4-D has led to systemic features (all as above) including mild gastrointestinal irritation and progressive mixed muscle nerve disease. Spraying the chemical has led to gastrointestinal and peripheral neuromuscular symptoms after inhalation exposure. PMID: 15578861


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