The weight of evidence of more than 160 epidemiology studies shows only trace levels of 2,4-D in urine of the general population, even though 2,4-D is one of the most commonly used herbicides in both the home and garden market and the commercial market (CDC, 2005; Health Canada, 2013). Evaluations of these and other exposure studies have concluded that actual exposures are well below the conservative assumptions made by policy makers for the registration process (Hays 2012; Burns and Swaen 2012; Aylward and Hays 2015).



The 2,4-D toxicology research studies required by United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) have incorporated state-of-the-art technologies. These methods of analysis are increasingly more sophisticated than earlier testing techniques, and thus permit development of an improved understanding of 2,4-D toxicology. The extensive data package of more than 121 new toxicology studies on 2,4-D provide valuable new perspectives affirming the minimal potential for the use of 2,4-D to adversely affect the environment, animal or human health.



Exposures of wildlife to 2,4-D, whether from direct spraying or consumption of treated vegetation, is of low toxicological significance. 2,4-D has a relatively short half-life and is rather immobile in the soil, with low potential for bioaccumulation or bioconcentration. Moreover, animal metabolism studies demonstrate that the herbicides are rapidly eliminated. As documented in the Bramble and Burns 1974 long-term study, many common game many common game species occupied the wildlife habitat created by a sprayed utility right-of-way out of an apparent preference and prospered there for many decades.




The United States Environmental Protection Agency, with 15,000 experts on staff is responsible for ensuring the health and safety of both people and the environment. It is the primary regulator of pesticides and herbicides in the US.


The Pest Management Regulatory Agency is the division of Health Canada tasked with regulating pesticides and herbicides. It ensures that manufacturers and applicators adhere to strict safety standards to keep Canadians safe.


The World Health Organization and the European Union have multiple agencies that regulate and examine pesticides to ensure public health and safety. Other groups such as IARC form temporary panels to evaluate hazard potential.


Benefits Study

The 2,4-D Research Task Force commissioned an update and expansion of the 1996 National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program (NAPIAP) report “Biological and Economic Risk Assessment of Benefits Phenoxy Herbicides in the United States. Leading experts, academics, and scientists from a wide range of disciplines contributed to the 14 chapters found in this website.

Go to Economic Benefits Study page

Non-Agricultural Uses

Aquatic weed control (including irrigation ditch bank application, surface application for floating and emergent weeds, and surface application or subsurface injection for submersed weeds)

Established grass pastures, rangeland, and perennial grasslands not in agricultural production

Fallow land and crop stubble


Forestry (including forest site preparation, forest roadsides, brush control, established conifer release, Christmas trees and reforestation areas)

Grass (turf) grown for seed and sod

Non-cropland (including fencerows, hedgerows, roadsides, ditches, rights-of-way)

Ornamental turf (including golf courses, cemeteries, parks, sports fields, turfgrass, lawns and other grass areas)

Utility power lines, railroads, airports, industrial sites, and other non-crop areas

Agricultural Uses

Blueberries (including low bush and high bush)

Cereal Grains (including wheat, barley, millet, oats, rye and teff)



Field corn and popcorn



Grain or forage sorghum


Nut orchards, pistachios

Pome Fruits

Potatoes (fresh market only)



Stone Fruits



Sweet corn

Wild rice

About the task force

The Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data is made up of companies holding technical registrations on the active ingredient in 2,4-D herbicides. They are Corteva Agriscience (U.S.), Nufarm, Ltd. (Australia) and Agro-Gor Corp (U.S.).