Daily News Archive
From November 14, 2001

Study Finds 2,4-D Herbicide Indoors after Lawn Application

A recent study finds that 2,4-D, one of the most commonly used lawn herbicides in the country, is easily tracked indoors contaminating the air and surfaces inside residences and exposing children at levels ten times higher than preapplication levels. The study, "Distribution of 2,4-D in Air and on Surfaces inside Residences after Lawn Applications: Comparing Exposure Estimates from Various Media for Young Children," published in the November issue of Environmental Health Perspectives (vol. 109 no. 11), finds that a homeowner applicator and an active dog are the greatest contributing factors to tracking the herbicide into homes.

Marcia Nishioka and her research team collected samples of indoor air, surface swipes of floors, table tops and window sills, and floor dust at eleven occupied and two unoccupied homes before and after a lawn application of 2,4-D. Resuspension of floor dust lead to the greatest amount of 2,4-D in indoor air and on tables and window sills. The authors state that the estimated post application indoor exposure levels for young children from nondietary ingestion to be around 1-10µg/day from contact with floors, and 0.2-30µg/day from contact with counter tops, which are ten times higher than the preapplication exposure.

Nishioka also published a study in 1996, "Measuring Transport of Lawn-Applied Herbicide Acids from Turf to Home: Correlation of Dislodgeable 2,4-D Turf Resideues with Carpet Dust and Carpet Surface Residues" (Envir. Sci. Technol (30): 3313-3320) that found that residues of 2,4-D and Dicamba on indoor carpet surfaces and carpet dust after a lawn application.

2,4-D has been associated with elevated rates of cancer in studies of exposed farmers and dogs. It is an irritant, nerve toxin, and can damage the reproductive system.

For more information, contact Beyond Pesticides.