Dangers of Herbicide Use

Updated: Apr 26

On Tuesday April 28th, I awoke at 7 am to the smell of herbicides filling my entire house since all our windows were left open during the night. My fiancée and I both developed headaches and nausea due to the overwhelming chemical smell that had seeped into our home after a Water Management Company had come by on the service road behind our house to spray for weeds. Like most individuals, we do not enjoy being harmed or put at unnecessary exposure to carcinogens against our will, yet, due to a lack of sensible restrictions on herbicides and pesticides, this is exactly what happens due to lack of education and communication from our local public divisions.

It is beyond-obvious just by the toxic scent of nearly all synthetic chemical herbicidal/pesticidal substances that they are indeed toxic and so to continue using these substances defies good common sense. But it is not only common sense that can be employed in this situation; it is also third party peer reviewed scientific investigation that can be employed to demonstrate as much. It is well documented in scientific literature that mammals, aquatic life, and plants share similar cellular and microbial mechanisms, even if the cells themselves differ in name or structure; the functionality and purpose is the same. The types of genetic and microbial damage happening to each through the use of pesticides/herbicides remains the same regardless of the species. So put more plainly: when you spray toxic substances on plants you are negatively affecting your own internal ecosystem. If you stick through to the end of this blog I have included ample scientific resources for you to have as a reference and hopefully even better yet, share with your local legislators and public offices.

It saddens me to say we obviously can not rely on common sense to be employed by our politicians or the management systems within most communities. Yet it goes without saying that it is not only ethical, but mandatory for our politicians and community management systems to abdicate their policies at present to third party peer-reviewed scientific evidence for the safety not only of the environment, but also of people and animals that are subjugated to dwell therein. With a small amount of scientific education, I am certain that any Governing body of a local region will come to the conclusion that the synthetic chemical approach to herbicides and pesticides is one that must be IMMEDIATELY abolished; if not for environmental reasons, definitely for legal ramifications on the basis of health compromisation and reckless public endangerment.

Not only because of the lawsuits against Bayer/Monsanto concerning Lymphoma that have been awarded Millions of dollars in recent court cases, but also due to other third-party scientific studies, it is becoming unequivocally clear that the use of chemically-synthesized herbicides and pesticides needs to be abolished in its entirety without any exception whatsoever. Especially when concentrated natural substances, such as Acetic Acid and/or H2O2, can be used to the same end without the genotoxicity or harm performed to pets, aquatic life, or wildlife. This is equally true of farms and agricultural spaces as it is for city management systems such as Parks and Recreations or Water Management entities.

Behind our home lies a beautiful trail that runs along side a canal that seasonally fills up with water. When companies such as our local Pineview Water Systems spray chemicals like 2,4-D on this canal trail, they are poisoning the environment in multiple ways. As is well known, 2,4-D is a synthetic auxin [used in Agent Orange] which is absorbed through the leaves of plants and trees and is translocated to the meristems of the plant. What ensues is uncontrolled, unsustainable growth causing stem curl-over, leaf withering, and eventual plant death. Essentially, unsustainable cell growth is by any other name, CANCER. Even those plants not DIRECTLY sprayed are affected through plant respiration mechanisms which occur through their leaves. Plants do respirate via the pores in the leaves which are called stomata; like mammals and birds, plants breathe in the air that surrounds them. When humans and other mammals can smell and detect poison in their ambient environment, so can the plants. And this causes a genotoxicity of the plants in the same way it does of mammals, including humans.

In this way, a strong case could be made that ANY organic, biodynamic, ecodynamic, and permaculture agricultural efforts being performed near the spraying zones are being directly compromised without permission by the irresponsible policies of those corporations or entities who are recklessly endangering our livelihood through the use of synthetic herbicides and pesticides. This doesn't even mention the direct assault on health of the microbiome of the human and mammalian inhabitants of the neighborhoods close by to the spray zones, nor the DNA damage, respiratory damage, neurological damage, etc; that has been identified in the scientific literature.

In this blog I have included direct links to an overwhelming amount of scientific studies that show the toxicity of the most widely used and commercially-available substances in our area (Ogden, Utah), namely Round Up, AMPA, Atrazine, and 2,4-D. These studies provide scientific evidence based on peer reviewed analysis and repeatable, demonstrable results that these chemicals are indeed toxic and we need to abolish their use from a governmental level. It is also really the only ethical and responsible choice for local management systems to begin to abolish their use of synthetic pesticides and herbicides immediately in favor of more sustainable and less harmful substances such as H2O2, Concentrated Acetic Acid, Boiling Water, Sulfuric Acid, among other options.

One such option is our Natural Weed Killer Recipe:

1 Gallon Distilled Vinegar

2 cups Epsom Salt

¼ cup castille soap

Listed below are but a FEW of the links I have saved over the years which can be used for the scientific edification of those who control our public lands as well as the common individual to remedy their ignorance and to provide more scientific basis upon which they can make informed decisions.


Preamble to the scientific findings below:

It is frequently stated on official websites and in official literature that 2,4-D has a relatively low toxicity, yet there are some VERY severe toxicity signs that are well noted in scientific and official literature. Though I agree that the IMMEDIATE toxicity to humans is somewhat low risk when applied properly, 2,4-D DOES get assimilated through the GI tract and filtered by the kidneys. In urine analysis, only 95% of the chemical makes its way out according to the best findings; during that time, it passes through the GI tract and the kidneys. This could definitely contribute to microbiome damage as it makes its way out, and is therefore likely to harm various sensitive microbes. As most people should know, microbiome alterations are one of the important mechanisms leading to the development of cancers since the microbes in the microbiome contribute to assimilation of nutrients as well as healthy biosynthesis of neurotransmitters, hormones, and more. Inadequate science exists to determine which microbes are actually being affected though. Please keep in mind that certain animals, namely dogs, are impacted more severely than other animals, like rats for instance when it comes to chemical exposure. Furthermore, there are definitive known toxic effects to humans. According to the National Pesticide Information Center’s data sheet for 2,4-D:

  • In plants, it creates “Abnormal increases in cell wall plasticity, biosynthesis of proteins, and production of ethylene occur in plant tissues following exposure, and these processes are responsible for uncontrolled cell division.” By any other name, this is plant cancer. How could it be that something can create cancer in one organism, yet not in others with similar cellular structure and function? The fact that some studies are inconclusive does not mean a substance is not hazardous, but that there has not been enough study performed. Therefore, I submit that materials that MAY be Carcinogenic, such as this substance was listed as in 1987, need to have conclusive evidence as to the carcinogenic effects before being ethically used.

  • “Symptoms of acute oral exposure to 2,4-D include vomiting, diarrhea, headache, confusion, aggressive or bizarre behavior. A peculiar odor is sometimes noted on the breath. Skeletal muscle injury and renal failure may also occur. Systemic toxicity is mainly associated with suicide attempts. Symptoms following dermal exposure may include irritation, and inhalation exposure may lead to coughing and burning sensations in the upper respiratory tract and chest. Prolonged exposure may result in dizziness. Chlorophenoxy compounds such as 2,4-D are quickly absorbed when swallowed, but absorption from dermal or inhalation exposure is low. Case reports and observational studies provide the majority of information regarding the toxicological effects of 2,4-D in incidents involving human poisonings. Researchers compiled the medical cases of 69 people who ingested 2,4-D and other chlorophenoxy herbicides; 23 of these patients died. Ingestion led to vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and development of hypotension. Peripheral neuromuscular effects including muscle twitching, weakness, and loss of tendon reflexes have been reported. Neuromuscular effects have lasted several weeks to months and have been permanent in some cases.”

Ruiz de Arcaute C1, Soloneski S1, Larramendy ML2.Toxic and genotoxic effects of the 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D)-based herbicide on the Neotropical fish Cnesterodon decemmaculatus. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2016 Jun;128:222-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2016.02.027. Epub 2016 Mar 4

Hayes, H. M.; Tarone, R. E.; Cantor, K. P.; Jessen, C. R.; McCurnin, 25. D. M.; Richardson, R. C. Case-Control Study of Canine Malignant Lymphoma: Positive Association With Dog Owner's Use of 2,4-Dichlorphenoxyacetic Acid Herbicides. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 1991, 83, 1226-1231.

Garabant, D. H.; Philbert, M. A. Review of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid (2,4-D) Epidemiology and Toxicology. Crit. Rev. Toxicol. 2002, 32 (4), 233-257.

Gandhi, R.; Wandji, S.-A.; Snedeker, S. Critical Evaluation of Cancer Risks from 2,4-D. Rev. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 2000, 167, 1-33.

Maire, M. A.; Rast, C.; Landkocz, Y.; Vasseur, P. 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid: Effects on Syrian Hamster Embryo (SHE) Cell Transformation, c-Myc Expression, DNA Damage, and Apoptosis. Mutat. Res. 2007, 631, 124-136.

IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenicity Risks to Humans. Overall Evaluations of Carcinogencity: An Updating of IARC Monographs, Volumes 1 to 42; International Agency for Research on Cancer: Lyon, France, 1987; Supplement 7.

Madrigal-Bujaidar, E.; Hernandez-Ceruelos, A.; Chamorro, G. Induction of sister chromatid exchanges by 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid in somatic and germ cells of mice exposed in vivo. Food Chem. Toxicol. 2001, 39, 941-946.

Collins, T. F. X.; Williams, C. H. Teratogenic Studies with 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D in the Hamster. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 1971, 6 (6), 559-567.

Lerda, D.; Rizzi, R. Study of reproductive function in persons occupationally exposed to 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). Mutat. Res. 1991, 6 (6), 1, 47-50.

Brand, R. M.; McMahon, L.; Jendrzejewski, J. L.; Charron, A. R. Transdermal absorption of the herbicide 2,4-dichlorphenoxyacetic acid is enhanced by both ethanol consumption and sunscreen application. Food Chem. Toxicol. 2007, 456, 93-97.

Brand, R. M.; Spaulding, M.; Mueller, C. Sunscreens Can Increase Dermal Penetration of 2,4-Dichlorphenoxyacetic Acid. J. Toxicol. Clin. Toxicol. 2002, 40 (7), 827-832.

Pont, A. R.; Charron, A. R.; Brand, R. M. Active ingredients in sunscreens act as topical penetration enhancers for the herbicide 2,4-dicholorphenoxyacetic acid. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol.2004, 195, 348-354.

Kohli, J. D.; Khanna, R. N.; Gupta, B. N.; MDhar, M. M.; Tandon, J. S.; Sircar, K. P. Absorption and Excretion of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid in Man. Xenobiotica 1974, 4 (2), 97-100.

Sauerhoff, M. W.; Braun, W. H.; Blau, G. E.; Gehring, P. J. The Fate of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid (2,4-D) Following Oral Administration to Man. Toxicol. 1977, 8, 3-11.

Roberts, T. R. Metabolic Pathways of Agrochemicals - Part 1: Herbicides and Plant Growth Regulators; The Royal Society of Chemistry: Cambridge, UK, 1998; pp 66-74.

Van Ravenzwaay, B.; Hardwick, T. D.; Needham, D.; Pethen, S.; Lappin, G. J. Comparative metabolism of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) in rat and dog. Xenobiotica 2003, 33 (8), 805-821.

Arnold, E. K.; Beasley, V. R. The Pharmacokinetics of Chlorinated Phenoxy Acid Herbicides: A Literature Review. Vet. Hum. Toxicol. 1989, 31 (12), 121-125.

ROUND UP, Glyphosate, Atrazine, & AMPA

Preamble to the scientific findings below:

There exists ample data showing that Glyphosate and other Herbicides and Pesticides are very unsafe and present numerous types of damage to the microbiome, DNA, and impact human health through other mechanisms besides these. I will allow the overwhelming scientific studies to speak for themselves.

The mechanism of DNA damage induced by Roundup 360 PLUS, glyphosate and AMPA in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells - genotoxic risk assessement.

European Parliament and Council. Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of 21 October 2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC. Off J Eur Union. 2009:1–50.

Glyphosate Task Force. Is glyphosate toxic to human DNA? Glyphosate Facts. 2013.

Antoniou M, Habib MEM, Howard CV, et al. Teratogenic effects of glyphosate-based herbicides: Divergence of regulatory decisions from scientific evidence. J Env Anal Toxicol. 2012;S4:006. doi:10.4172/2161-0525.S4-006.

Antoniou M, Habib M, Howard CV, et al. Roundup and Birth Defects: Is the Public Being Kept in the Dark? Earth Open Source; 2011.

Marc J, Mulner-Lorillon O, Belle R. Glyphosate-based pesticides affect cell cycle regulation. Biol Cell. 2004;96:245-9. doi:10.1016/j.biolcel.2003.11.010.

Bellé R, Le Bouffant R, Morales J, Cosson B, Cormier P, Mulner-Lorillon O. Sea urchin embryo, DNA-damaged cell cycle checkpoint and the mechanisms initiating cancer development. J Soc Biol. 2007;201:317–27.

Marc J, Mulner-Lorillon O, Boulben S, Hureau D, Durand G, Bellé R. Pesticide Roundup provokes cell division dysfunction at the level of CDK1/cyclin B activation. Chem Res Toxicol. 2002;15(3):326-31.

Marc J, Bellé R, Morales J, Cormier P, Mulner-Lorillon O. Formulated glyphosate activates the DNA-response checkpoint of the cell cycle leading to the prevention of G2/M transition. Toxicol Sci. 2004;82:436-42. doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfh281.

Mañas F, Peralta L, Raviolo J, et al. Genotoxicity of glyphosate assessed by the Comet assay and cytogenic tests. Env Toxicol Pharmacol. 2009;28:37–41.

Mañas F, Peralta L, Raviolo J, et al. Genotoxicity of AMPA, the environmental metabolite of glyphosate, assessed by the Comet assay and cytogenetic tests. Ecotoxicol Env Saf. 2009;72:834-7. doi:10.1016/j.ecoenv.2008.09.019.

Koller VJ, Furhacker M, Nersesyan A, Misik M, Eisenbauer M, Knasmueller S. Cytotoxic and DNA-damaging properties of glyphosate and Roundup in human-derived buccal epithelial cells. Arch Toxicol. 2012;86:805–813. doi:10.1007/s00204-012-0804-8.

Bolognesi C, Bonatti S, Degan P, et al. Genotoxic activity of glyphosate and its technical formulation Roundup. J Agric Food Chem. 1997;45:1957–1962.

Kale PG, Petty BT, Walker S, et al. Mutagenicity testing of nine herbicides and pesticides currently used in agriculture. Env Mol Mutagen. 1995;25:148-53.

Peluso M, Munnia A, Bolognesi C, Parodi S. 32P-postlabeling detection of DNA adducts in mice treated with the herbicide Roundup. Env Mol Mutagen. 1998;31:55-9.


Benedetti D, Nunes E, Sarmento M, et al. Genetic damage in soybean workers exposed to pesticides: evaluation with the comet and buccal micronucleus cytome assays. Mutat Res. 2013;752:28-33. doi:10.1016/j.mrgentox.2013.01.001.

Paz-y-Miño C, Sánchez ME, Arévalo M, et al. Evaluation of DNA damage in an Ecuadorian population exposed to glyphosate. Genet Mol Biol. 2007;30:456–460.

Bradberry SM, Proudfoot AT, Vale JA. Glyphosate poisoning. Toxicol Rev. 2004;23:159–167.

Benachour N, Séralini GE. Glyphosate formulations induce apoptosis and necrosis in human umbilical, embryonic, and placental cells. Chem Res Toxicol. 2009;22:97–105. doi:10.1021/tx800218n.

Haefs R, Schmitz-Eiberger M, Mainx HG, Mittelstaedt W, Noga G. Studies on a new group of biodegradable surfactants for glyphosate. Pest Manag Sci. 2002;58:825-33. doi:10.1002/ps.539.

Richard S, Moslemi S, Sipahutar H, Benachour N, Seralini GE. Differential effects of glyphosate and Roundup on human placental cells and aromatase. Env Health Perspect. 2005;113:716-20.

Giesy JP, Dobson S, Solomon KR. Ecotoxicological risk assessment for Roundup herbicide. Rev Env Contam Toxicol. 2000;167:35–120.

Mesnage R, Defarge N, de Vendomois JS, Séralini GE. Major pesticides are more toxic to human cells than their declared active principles. BioMed Res Int. 2014;2014. doi:10.1155/2014/179691.

Lee H-L, Kan C-D, Tsai C-L, Liou M-J, Guo H-R. Comparative effects of the formulation of glyphosate-surfactant herbicides on hemodynamics in swine. Clin Toxicol Phila Pa. 2009;47(7):651-658. doi:10.1080/15563650903158862.

Adam A, Marzuki A, Abdul Rahman H, Abdul Aziz M. The oral and intratracheal toxicities of ROUNDUP and its components to rats. Vet Hum Toxicol. 1997;39(3):147-151.

Kubsad, D., Nilsson, E.E., King, S.E. et al.Assessment of Glyphosate Induced Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance of Pathologies and Sperm Epimutations: Generational Toxicology. Sci Rep 9, 6372 (2019).

Wang L, Deng Q, Hu H, Liu M, Gong Z, Zhang S, Xu-Monette ZY, Lu Z, Young KH, Ma X, Li Y. Glyphosate induces benign monoclonal gammopathy and promotes multiple myeloma progression in mice. J Hematol Oncol. 2019 Jul 5;12(1):70. doi: 10.1186/s13045-019-0767-9.

Séralini GE, Clair E, Mesnage R, et al. Republished study: long-term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Environ Sci Eur. 2014;26(1):14. doi:10.1186/s12302-014-0014-5

George J, Prasad S, Mahmood Z, Shukla Y. Studies on glyphosate-induced carcinogenicity in mouse skin: a proteomic approach. J Proteomics. 2010 Mar 10;73(5):951-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2009.12.008. Epub 2010 Jan 4.

Suárez-Larios K, Salazar-Martínez AM, Montero-Montoya R. Screening of Pesticides with the Potential of Inducing DSB and Successive Recombinational Repair.

J Toxicol. 2017;2017:3574840. doi: 10.1155/2017/3574840. Epub 2017 Oct 10.

N. Defarge, J. Spiroux de Vendômois, and G.E. Séralini.Toxicity of formulants and heavy metals in glyphosate-based herbicides and other pesticides. Toxicol Rep. 2018; 5: 156–163. Published online 2017 Dec 30. doi: 10.1016/j.toxrep.2017.12.025

Lozano VL, Defarge N, Rocque LM, Mesnage R, Hennequin D, Cassier R, de Vendômois JS, Panoff JM, Séralini GE, Amiel C. Sex-dependent impact of Roundup on the rat gut microbiome. Toxicol Rep. 2017 Dec 19;5:96-107. doi: 10.1016/j.toxrep.2017.12.005. eCollection 2018

Thongprakaisang S, Thiantanawat A, Rangkadilok N, Suriyo T, Satayavivad J. Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors. Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Sep;59:129-36. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.05.057. Epub 2013 Jun 10.

Zhang L, Rana I, Shaffer RM, Taioli E, Sheppard L. Exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides and risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma: A meta-analysis and supporting evidence. Mutat Res. 2019 Jul - Sep;781:186-206. doi: 10.1016/j.mrrev.2019.02.001. Epub 2019 Feb 10.

Schinasi L, Leon ME. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and occupational exposure to agricultural pesticide chemical groups and active ingredients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Apr 23;11(4):4449-527. doi: 10.3390/ijerph110404449.

Mertens M, Höss S, Neumann G, Afzal J, Reichenbecher W. Glyphosate, a chelating agent-relevant for ecological risk assessment? Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018 Feb;25(6):5298-5317. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-1080-1. Epub 2018 Jan 2.

Some Organophosphate Insecticides and Herbicides

IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, No. 112

IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans.

Lyon (FR): International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2017.

ISBN-13: 978-9283201502 (paperback)ISBN-13: 978-9283201786 (pdf)ISBN-13: 978-9283213352 (epub)

Samsel, A.; Seneff, S. Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases. Entropy 2013, 15, 1416-1463.

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