Natural Born Weed Killers
The cocktail of chemicals found in the most common herbicides used in home lawn care in the U.S. could reduce fertility and cause miscarriages, according to a study published today in Environmental Health Perspectives. The study does not name the brand of weed-killer tested, but the active ingredient — a mix of three phenoxy herbicides (2,4-D, dicamba, and mecoprop) — is used by 29 million Americans to kill dandelions and other undesired plants. Safety trials have been conducted on the herbicides singly, but never in combination. However, independent studies of crop workers in Europe and Kansas have found a possible correlation between one of the herbicides, 2,4-D, and elevated rates of non-Hodgkins lymphoma and birth defects. The current study found that laboratory mice given drinking water containing extremely low doses of the chemical cocktail — seven times lower than the maximum allowable concentrations in the U.S. — experienced a 20 percent increase in failed pregnancies.