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dwr at nornet.on.ca dwr at nornet.on.ca
Fri May 3 21:46:55 EST 1996

jgold at escape.ca (Julie J. Gold) wrote:

>I am new to newsgroups, and am attempting to respond to a note which I read 
>about the herbicide 2,4-d (commercially common as Roundup).


 The compound is 
>one of a class of phenoxychlorides (I probably am not remembering the absolute 
>correct spelling, and my books are unavailable, so forgive me please). These 
>molecules are essentially phenol rings connected by oxygen atoms, with 
>chloride radicals on the rings. They are very reactive. In plants, as pointed 
>out, they act much as growth hormone auxin, and in effect the plant grows 
>itself to death. Hence, the gnarled leaves which form on treated plants. I 
>believe that at least one effect of the compound is to interfere with the 
>photosynthetically driven electron transport chain. 
>These herbicides were commonly used in forestry applications, a notorious 
>example being 2,4,5-t, Agent Orange used in Vietnam, and a molecule related to 
>2,4-d. The numbers refer to the positions of chloride around the rings. An 
>unfortunate side-effect in forestry applications is the destruction of stream 
>life. It is true the compounds have a fairly rapid breakdown in soil (because 
>they are reactive!), but I certainly look for alternate control measures. I 
>find the smell of the stuff repugnant, especially on a lovely afternoon 
>pedalling my way home past a sea of chemically treated sod. 
>Personally, I don't trust data relative to the safety of 2,4-d. But 
>professionally I suppose I must reserve judgement. At least treat the stuff 
>respectfully if you need to use it, reading ALL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS, and 
>following proper disposal methods.

>Thanks for listening to a "newbie",

>(Dr.) Julie Gold
>Winnipeg, MB

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