2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D)
2,4-D is a systemic herbicide used post emergence for the control of broadleaf and grass weeds on crops, commercial and industrial areas, turf, forestry and waterways.
2, 4-D Review
Status: review in progress
- January 2013—continuation of existing suspension of 2,4-D high volatile ester products notice issued and instructions for users continued via an existing permit (PER13339).
- January 2012—continuation of existing suspension of 2,4-D high volatile ester products notice issued and instructions for users issued as a permit (PER13339).
- February and June 2012—the APVMA suspended certain 2,4-D high volatile ester active constituent approvals for failure to provide required data. Data is required to enable the APVMA to assess the concern that these high volatile esters volatilise and persist in the environment (atmosphere) thereby causing off-target damage. Refer to Gazette No. 3 (PDF, 853kb)| (RTF, 686kb) for 14 February 2012 suspension and to Gazette No. 12 (PDF, 686kb) | (RTF, 966kb) for 5 June 2012 suspension.
- June 2012—following the February and June 2012 suspensions of certain 2,4-D high volatile ester active constituent approvals for failure to provide required data, the APVMA suspended all associated registrations of products containing 2,4-D isobutyl ester.
In 1995 the APVMA began a review of 2,4-D because of concerns over its potential risk to public health, occupational health and safety, and the environment (including impacts on waterways, non-target animals and plants).
The review of 2,4-D has been split into two parts:
- Part 1 contains the environmental risk assessment of high volatile (short-chain) ester forms of 2,4-D
- Part 2 will contain the toxicological, occupational health and safety assessments for all 2,4-D forms, and the environmental risk assessment of the low and non-volatile forms (acid, salt, and long-chain esters) of 2,4-D.
- Currently only the Preliminary Review Findings (PRF) report for Part 1 is available. A report for Part 2 will be released after the initial assessments are completed.
Review part 1
In April 2006 the APVMA released the 2,4-D Preliminary Review Findings Report (Environment) Part One: 2,4-D high volatile esters (PDF, 697kb).
The APVMA found that high volatile ester (ethyl ester, butyl ester and isobutyl ester) forms of 2,4-D pose an unacceptable risk to crops and the environment.
To minimise the risks to people and the environment the APVMA proposed cancelling all approvals and registrations relating to the high volatile ester forms of 2,4-D.
In October 2006 the APVMA suspended the registrations and label approvals of 24 products containing high volatile ester forms of 2,4-D and issued new instructions for use until such time as further data is generated by registrants. This suspension has been extended and continued (in May 2007, October 2010, February 2011 and February 2012) and 2,4-D high volatile ester products may only by used according to the Instructions for Use. The APVMA has provided a 2,4-D record keeping form—Spray Record (PDF, 76kb) to assist users.
In December 2011, the APVMA issued notices to certain high volatile esters active constituent approval holders to 'show cause' why the APVMA should not suspend the approval of those forms of 2,4-D active constituent, due to non-compliance of approval holders with the APVMA requirement that they provide data for further assessment. The APVMA is considering responses to these letters.
The part 1 review is still underway. See the document archive below.
Review part 2
Interim regulatory decision 2005
The APVMA received reports of crop damage through its Adverse Experience Reporting Program, notably in cotton, grapes and other horticultural crops typical of a phenoxy-type herbicide and reportedly due to drift of 2,4-D.
A full investigation of these reports was conducted by the APVMA which concluded that the crop damage was due to off-target movement of 2,4-D, but that this could not directly be linked to a specific formulation of 2,4-D. The APVMA also concluded that additional instructions on 2,4-D product labels were warranted to assist users in managing the issue of spray drift at the time of application.
In October 2005 the APVMA released a label review under s.34A of theAgricultural and Veterinary Medicines Code Act 1994.. In consultation with state authorities, the APVMA developed additional instructions to strengthen the existing label warnings in relation to minimising chemical spray drift. All registrants were required to update their product labels by 30 November 2005.
These changes are not the final outcome of the review of 2,4-D in relation to spray drift management. Further changes to approvals and registrations may also be required once the full toxicological, occupational health and safety, and environmental risks have been assessed.
The assessment of 2,4-D Part 2 is still in progress and a preliminary review findings report will be released after the assessment is completed.
For more information contact:
Phone: +61 2 6210 4749
Fax: +61 2 6210 4874
Search the PUBCRIS database for registered products that contain 2,4-D.
Search hint: In the Active Constituent 1 field enter 2,4-D.