ARCHIVED - Information Note: The PMRA is implementing interim measures for products containing 2,4-D for use on lawn and turf

August 2006

Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), the federal body responsible for the regulation of pesticides in Canada, is implementing interim measures in advance of reaching a final decision regarding the uses of 2,4-D.

The PMRA has reviewed the comments and information received in response to the proposed regulatory decision for lawn and turf uses of 2,4-D. Based on the available scientific information, 2,4-D is acceptable for use on lawns and turf with specific label directions for use and handling. Additional data that were submitted by registrants, but not reviewed at the time of publication of the Proposed Acceptability for Continuing Registration document PACR2005-01, Re-evaluation of the Lawn and Turf Uses of (2,4-Dichlorophenoxy)acetic Acid, have also been reviewed.

The following changes were made as a result of the PMRA's review of the comments and information received from stakeholders:

  • Statements indicating the most effective timing of application are now required on product labels.
  • Environmental precaution statements have been modified to increase their relevancy to all products.
  • The proposed buffer zones for commercial products have been altered.
  • Data on microcontaminants present at extremely low levels must be submitted to the PMRA.

The interim measures described in Re-evaluation Note REV2006-11, Lawn and Turf Uses of (2,4-Dichlorophenoxy)acetic Acid [2,4-D]: Interim Measures, are consistent with those proposed in PACR2005-01.

Also, the PMRA has determined that registered products containing the diethanolamine (DEA) form of 2,4-D must be discontinued because adequate data to evaluate the potential health effects of the DEA form have not been provided.

The PMRA understands that the public may have concerns regarding domestic uses of pesticides. The PMRA rigorously assesses pesticides using modern scientific assessment methods and carefully reviews all available information. This process ensures that only pesticides that pose no unacceptable health or environmental risks and that have value are registered under the Pest Control Products Act, permitting them to be sold and used in Canada. It is important that label directions be followed carefully.

To ensure consistency with the new Pest Control Products Act that came into force on June 28, 2006, the PMRA will make a final decision regarding the continued acceptability of lawn and turf uses of 2,4-D when a final decision on all this product's uses, including agricultural uses, is made.

About dioxins and 2,4-D

Dioxins make up a large family of over 200 chemicals. Certain types of dioxins are considered much more toxic than others and are classified as "dioxins of concern." In the early 1980s, the methods used to manufacture 2,4-D were carefully examined in light of the emerging knowledge and concerns regarding these dioxins. Changes were made to reduce the levels of contamination of 2,4-D with all dioxins. In 1983, Agriculture Canada's Pesticides Division established a production limit of "not detectable at 1 ppb" for 2,3,7,8-TCDD, the most toxic dioxin, in 2,4-D.

Since the 1980s, more sensitive analytical methodologies have been developed. It is now possible to detect much lower levels of dioxins in 2,4-D than before. The PMRA is requesting additional data on dioxin levels generated using the most up-to-date analytical methods available.

Health Canada's It's Your Health: Dioxins and Furans publication gives some additional information on dioxins, and lists the greatest sources for the presence of dioxins in the environment, including: the incineration of medical and municipal waste; the burning of fuel and wood; electrical power generation; and tobacco smoke.

Need More Information?

Visit the following links on the PMRA's website to read more about the topics discussed in this document.

2,4-D Re-evaluation Documents

Risk Assessment Process

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