Bibliography Tag: herbicides

Andreotti et al., 2015

Andreotti, G., Hoppin, J. A., Hou, L., Koutros, S., Gadalla, S. M., Savage, S. A., Lubin, J., Blair, A., Hoxha, M., Baccarelli, A., Sandler, D., Alavanja, M., & Beane Freeman, L. E.; “Pesticide Use and Relative Leukocyte Telomere Length in the Agricultural Health Study;” Plos One, 2015, 10(7), e0133382; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0133382.


Some studies suggest that telomere length (TL) may be influenced by environmental exposures, including pesticides. We examined associations between occupational pesticide use reported at three time points and relative telomere length (RTL) in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), a prospective cohort study of pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina. RTL was measured by qPCR using leukocyte DNA from 568 cancer-free male AHS participants aged 31-94 years with blood samples collected between 2006 and 2008. Self-reported information, including pesticide use, was collected at three time points: enrollment (1993-1997) and two follow-up questionnaires (1998-2003, 2005-2008). For each pesticide, we evaluated cumulative use (using data from all three questionnaires), and more recent use (using data from the last follow-up questionnaire). Multivariable linear regression was used to examine the associations between pesticide use (ever, lifetime days, intensity-weighted lifetime days (lifetime days*intensity score)) and RTL, adjusting for age at blood draw and use of other pesticides. Of the 57 pesticides evaluated with cumulative use, increasing lifetime days of 2,4-D (p-trend=0.001), diazinon (p-trend=0.002), and butylate (p-trend=0.01) were significantly associated with shorter RTL, while increasing lifetime days of alachlor was significantly associated with longer RTL (p-trend=0.03). Only the association with 2,4-D was significant after adjustment for multiple comparisons. Of the 40 pesticides evaluated for recent use, malathion was associated with shorter RTL (p=0.03), and alachlor with longer RTL (p=0.03). Our findings suggest that leukocyte TL may be impacted by cumulative use and recent use of certain pesticides.


Alexander et al., 2007

Alexander, B. H., Mandel, J. S., Baker, B. A., Burns, C. J., Bartels, M. J., Acquavella, J. F., & Gustin, C.; “Biomonitoring of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid exposure and dose in farm families;” Environmental Health Perspectives, 2007, 115(3), 370-376; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.8869.


OBJECTIVE: We estimated 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) exposure and systemic dose in farm family members following an application of 2,4-D on their farm.

METHODS: Farm families were recruited from licensed applicators in Minnesota and South Carolina. Eligible family members collected all urine during five 24-hr intervals, 1 day before through 3 days after an application of 2,4-D. Exposure profiles were characterized with 24-hr urine 2,4-D concentrations, which then were related to potential predictors of exposure. Systemic dose was estimated using the urine collections from the application day through the third day after application.

RESULTS: Median urine 2,4-D concentrations at baseline and day after application were 2.1 and 73.1 microg/L for applicators, below the limit of detection, and 1.2 microg/L for spouses, and 1.5 and 2.9 microg/L for children. The younger children (4-11 years of age) had higher median post-application concentrations than the older children (> or = 12 years of age) (6.5 vs. 1.9 microg/L). The geometric mean systemic doses (micrograms per kilogram body weight) were 2.46 (applicators), 0.8 (spouses), 0.22 (all children), 0.32 (children 4-11 years of age), and 0.12 (children > or = 12 years of age). Exposure to the spouses and children was primarily determined by direct contact with the application process and the number of acres treated. Multivariate models identified glove use, repairing equipment, and number of acres treated as predictors of exposure in the applicators.

CONCLUSIONS: We observed considerable heterogeneity of 2,4-D exposure among farm family members, primarily attributable to level of contact with the application process. Awareness of this variability and the actual magnitude of exposures are important for developing exposure and risk characterizations in 2,4-D-exposed agricultural populations.


Burns and Swaen, 2012

Burns, C. J., & Swaen, G. M.; “Review of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) biomonitoring and epidemiology;” Critical Reviews in Toxicology, 2012, 42(9), 768-786; DOI: 10.3109/10408444.2012.710576.


A qualitative review of the epidemiological literature on the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and health after 2001 is presented. In order to compare the exposure of the general population, bystanders and occupational groups, their urinary levels were also reviewed. In the general population, 2,4-D exposure is at or near the level of detection (LOD). Among individuals with indirect exposure, i.e. bystanders, the urinary 2,4-D levels were also very low except in individuals with opportunity for direct contact with the herbicide. Occupational exposure, where exposure was highest, was positively correlated with behaviors related to the mixing, loading and applying process and use of personal protection. Information from biomonitoring studies increases our understanding of the validity of the exposure estimates used in epidemiology studies. The 2,4-D epidemiology literature after 2001 is broad and includes studies of cancer, reproductive toxicity, genotoxicity, and neurotoxicity. In general, a few publications have reported statistically significant associations. However, most lack precision and the results are not replicated in other independent studies. In the context of biomonitoring, the epidemiology data give no convincing or consistent evidence for any chronic adverse effect of 2,4-D in humans. FULL TEXT

Jugulam et al., 2018

Jugulam, Mithila, Varanasi, Aruna K., Varanasi, Vijaya K., & Prasad, P. V. V. (2018). Climate Change Influence on Herbicide Efficacy and Weed Management. In S. S. Yadav, R. J. Redden, J. L. Hatfield, A. W. Ebert, & D. Hunter (Eds.), Food Security and Climate Change (First ed., pp. 433-448): John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Climate change refers to a change in the climate system that persists for long periods of time, irrespective of the cause. Since the industrial revolution, climate change has been more often associated with a rise in the concentration of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, and halocarbons. The concentration of atmospheric CO2 is steadily rising and is expected to reach ∼1000 μmolmol−1 by the year 2100 with a simultaneous increase of 2–4∘C in the earth’s annual surface temperature (IPCC, 2013). Human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation have contributed to a large extent to the emission of greenhouse gases (IPCC 2013, MacCracken et al., 1990). Continued emission of these gases may lead to unprecedented climate changes involving high global temperatures, erratic precipitation and wind patterns, and weather extremities such as droughts, floods, and severe storms (Tubiello et al., 2007; Robinson and Gross, 2010; Gillett et al., 2011; Coumou and Rahmstorf, 2012). Such extreme weather events and rapid climatic changes will have major impacts on the stability of ecosystems; consequently influencing plant life and agriculture (Dukes and Mooney, 1999). Crop production and agronomic practices involving weed management and pest control may be severely affected by these altered abiotic conditions primarily caused by changes in climate and climate variability (Dukes et al., 2009, Singer et al., 2013). Warmer and wetter climates not only affect weed growth but also change chemical properties of certain herbicides; thereby altering their performance on weeds and their control (Poorter and Navas, 2003; Dukes et al., 2009). Determining the response of weeds and herbicides to increased CO2 levels and associated changes in other climate variables is critical to optimize weed management strategies in the context of climate change. This chapter provides an overview of the impacts of climate change factors on weed growth and herbicide efficacy, particularly focusing on the impacts of climate factors on the underlying physiological mechanisms that determine herbicide performance. FULL TEXT

Ziska, 2020

Ziska, Lewis H.; “Climate Change and the Herbicide Paradigm: Visiting the Future;” Agronomy, 2020, 10(12); DOI: 10.3390/agronomy10121953.


Weeds are recognized globally as a major constraint to crop production and food security. In recent decades, that constraint has been minimized through the extensive use of herbicides in conjunction with genetically modified resistant crops. However, as is becoming evident, such a stratagem is resulting in evolutionary selection for widespread herbicide resistance and the need for a reformation of current practices regarding weed management. Whereas such a need is recognized within the traditional auspices of weed science, it is also imperative to include emerging evidence that rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and climatic shifts will impose additional selection pressures that will, in turn, affect herbicide efficacy. The goal of the current perspective is to provide historical context of herbicide use, outline the biological basis for CO2/climate impacts on weed biology, and address the need to integrate this information to provide a long-term sustainable paradigm for weed management. FULL TEXT

Ziska, 2016

Ziska, Lewis H.; “The role of climate change and increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide on weed management: Herbicide efficacy;” Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 2016, 231, 304-309; DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2016.07.014.

ABSTRACT: Rising concentrations of carbon dioxide [CO2] and a changing climate will almost certainly affect weed biology and demographics with consequences for crop productivity. The extent of such consequences could be minimal if weed management, particularly the widespread and effective use of herbicides, minimizes any future risk; but, such an outcome assumes that [CO2] or climate change will not affect herbicide efficacy per se. Is this a fair assumption? While additional data are greatly desired, there is sufficient information currently available to begin an initial assessment of both the physical and biological constraints likely to occur before, during and following herbicide application. The assessment provided here, while preliminary, reviews a number of physical and biological interactions that are likely, overall, to significantly reduce herbicide efficacy. These interactions can range from climatic extremes that influence spray coverage and field access to direct effects of [CO2] or temperature on plant biochemistry and morphology. Identification of these mechanisms will be essential to both understand and strengthen weed management strategies associated with rising levels of [CO2] in the context of an uncertain and rapidly changing climate.

Benbrook and Benbrook, 2021

Benbrook, Charles, & Benbrook, Rachel (2021). “A minimum data set for tracking changes in pesticide use.” In R. Mesnage & J. Zaller (Eds.), Herbicides: Elsevier and RTI Press.


A frequently asked but deceptively simple question often arises about pesticide use on a given farm or crop: Is pesticide use going up, down, or staying about the same? Where substantial changes in pesticide use are occurring, it is also important to understand the factors driving change. These might include more or fewer hectares planted, a change in the crop mix, a higher or lower percentage of hectares treated, or higher or lower rates of application and/or number of applications. Or, it might arise from a shift to other pesticides applied at a higher or lower rate and/or lessened or greater reliance on nonpesticidal strategies and integrated pest management (IPM). Questions about whether pesticide use is changing and why arise for a variety of reasons. Rising use typically increases farmer costs and cuts into profit margins. It generally raises the risk of adverse environmental and/or public health outcomes. It can accelerate the emergence and spread of organisms resistant to applied pesticides. If the need to spray more continues year after year for long enough, farming systems become unsustainable. Lessened reliance on and use of pesticides, on the other hand, are typically brought about and can only be sustained by incrementally more effective prevention-based biointensive IPM systems (bioIPM).1–3 Fewer pesticide applications and fewer pounds/kilograms of active ingredient applied reduce the impacts on nontarget organisms and provide space for beneficial organisms and biodiversity to flourish. Such systems reduce the odds of significant crop loss in years when conditions undermine the efficacy of control measures, leading to spikes in pest populations and the risk of economically meaningful loss of crop yield and/or quality. FULL TEXT

Bohnenblust et al., 2016

Bohnenblust, E. W., Vaudo, A. D., Egan, J. F., Mortensen, D. A., & Tooker, J. F.; “Effects of the herbicide dicamba on nontarget plants and pollinator visitation;” Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 2016, 35(1), 144-151; DOI: 10.1002/etc.3169.


Nearly 80% of all pesticides applied to row crops are herbicides, and these applications pose potentially significant ecotoxicological risks to nontarget plants and associated pollinators. In response to the widespread occurrence of weed species resistant to glyphosate, biotechnology companies have developed crops resistant to the synthetic-auxin herbicides dicamba and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D); and once commercialized, adoption of these crops is likely to change herbicide-use patterns. Despite current limited use, dicamba and 2,4-D are often responsible for injury to nontarget plants; but effects of these herbicides on insect communities are poorly understood. To understand the influence of dicamba on pollinators, the authors applied several sublethal, drift-level rates of dicamba to alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and Eupatorium perfoliatum L. and evaluated plant flowering and floral visitation by pollinators. The authors found that dicamba doses simulating particle drift (≈1% of the field application rate) delayed onset of flowering and reduced the number of flowers of each plant species; however, plants that did flower produced similar-quality pollen in terms of protein concentrations. Further, plants affected by particle drift rates were visited less often by pollinators. Because plants exposed to sublethal levels of dicamba may produce fewer floral resources and be less frequently visited by pollinators, use of dicamba or other synthetic-auxin herbicides with widespread planting of herbicide-resistant crops will need to be carefully stewarded to prevent potential disturbances of plant and beneficial insect communities in agricultural landscapes. FULL TEXT

Oseland et al., 2020

Oseland, E., Bish, M., Steckel, L., & Bradley, K.; “Identification of environmental factors that influence the likelihood of off-target movement of dicamba;” Pest Management Science, 2020, 76(9), 3282-3291; DOI: 10.1002/ps.5887.


BACKGROUND: Commercialization of dicamba-resistant soybean and cotton and subsequent post-emergence applications of dicamba contributed to at least 1.4 and 0.5 million hectares of dicamba-injured soybean in the United States in 2017 and 2018, respectively. This research was initiated to identify environmental factors that contribute to off-target dicamba movement. A survey was conducted following the 2017 growing season to collect information from dicamba applications that remained on the target field and those where dicamba moved. Weather and environmental data surrounding applications were collected and used to identify factors that reduce the likelihood of off-target movement. Soil pH was one factor identified in the model, and field experiments were conducted in 2018 and 2019 to validate the model. Three commercially-available dicamba formulations and one formulation currently in development were applied to soil at five distinct pH values. Sensitive soybean was used as a bioassay plant to detect dicamba volatilization.

RESULTS: Wind speeds the day of and following application, nearest water source to the field, soybean production acreage in the county, and soil pH were identified as factors that influence the likelihood for off-target movement. In the field study, when dicamba was applied to pH-adjusted soil and placed under low tunnels for 72 h, dicamba volatility increased when soil pH decreased as the model predicted. Dicamba choline, which is not commercially available, had reduced volatility compared to other formulations tested.

CONCLUSION: Results of this study identified specific factors that contribute to successful and unsuccessful dicamba applications and should be considered prior to applications.

Qi et al., 2020

Qi, M., Huo, J., Li, Z., He, C., Li, D., Wang, Y., Vasylieva, N., Zhang, J., & Hammock, B. D.; “On-spot quantitative analysis of dicamba in field waters using a lateral flow immunochromatographic strip with smartphone imaging;” Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 2020, 412(25), 6995-7006; DOI: 10.1007/s00216-020-02833-z.


Dicamba herbicide is increasingly used in the world, in particular’ with the widespread cultivation of genetically modified dicamba-resistant crops. However, the drift problem in the field has caused phytotoxicity against naive, sensitive crops, raising legal concerns. Thus, it is particularly timely to develop a method that can be used for on-the-spot rapid detection of dicamba in the field. In this paper, a lateral flow immunochromatographic strip (LFIC) was developed. The quantitative detection can be conducted by an app on a smartphone, named “Color Snap.” The tool reported here provides results in 10 min and can detect dicamba in water with a LOD (detection limit) value of 0.1 mg/L. The developed LFIC shows excellent stability and sensitivity appropriate for field analysis. Our sensor is portable and excellent tool for on-site detection with smartphone imaging for better accuracy and precision of the results.