One in three Americans exposed to 2,4-D pesticide—with children at high risk
Published: March 29, 2022
A study from George Washington University researchers found one in three people in the U.S., of 14,395 surveyed, showed evidence of exposure to a pesticide linked to cancer and reproductive problems.
2,4-D was developed in the 1940s, gaining popularity as a weedkiller and producer of pristine green lawns. It was also an ingredient in Agent Orange, used in the Vietnam War. Roundup (glyphosate) took over in the 1980s, until weeds became so resistant that chemical companies reinstated 2,4-D in combinations with glyphosate (Enlist Duo is an example).
The amount of 2,4-D applied rose 67% from 2012 to 2020; it’s now expected to rise even more with Enlist Duo now recommended for GM crops.
Lead study author Marlaina Freisthler said, “Human exposures to 2,4-D have gone up significantly… [this] might cause health problems, especially for young children who are very sensitive to chemical exposures.”
Children are exposed by playing barefoot on treated lawns or putting hands to mouths. Eating soy-based foods is also a risk.
The study analyzed pesticide use data from 2001 until 2014. Early on, 17% of participants had significant levels, to a high of nearly 40% ten years later. Children ages 6-11 had more than double the risk of increasing exposure, and women of childbearing age had almost twice the risk compared to men of the same age group.
Sources: George Washington University; The Guardian
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Organic & Non-GMO Insights April 2022