2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D)

Black and white chemical structure of 2,4-D
Structure of 2,4-D
CAS Number: 94-75-7

2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) is widely used to control weeds in agriculture, recreational areas, lawns and gardens, and along roadsides and railroad tracks.


Fact Sheet

2,4-D is found in

  • Some home lawn products labeled as weed killers and for “weed and feed” use.
  • Commercial weed control products used along roadsides and railroad tracks, and in recreational areas such as golf courses, athletic fields, and parks.
  • Some herbicides for crops such as wheat, almonds, and some citrus and stone fruits.

Possible health concerns of 2,4-D

Scientists are still studying how 2,4-D might affect people’s health.  There is concern that 2,4-D:

  • May interfere with the body’s natural hormones.
  • May harm the developing fetus.
  • May increase cancer risk.

Possible ways to reduce exposure to 2,4-D

  • Use non-chemical methods to control weeds, such as regular mowing and hand-weeding.
  • If you choose to use a weed killer, spot-treat problem areas and follow warning statements on the label.  After application:
    • Remove shoes before entering your house; remove clothes that are soiled during application and launder them separately.
    • Limit access to 2,4-D treated areas, at least until the product has completely dried; for children and pets, limit access for one to two days or longer if possible.
    • Look for posted notices that indicate an area (such as a park or athletic field) has been treated with a weed killer and follow any precautions on the notice.

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