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IARC: Herbicide 2,4-D Is "Possibly Carcinogenic"
A monograph (PDF) recently published online by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) as possibly carcinogenic to humans. The monograph discusses “inadequate evidence” of 2,4-D’s carcinogenicity in humans, but “limited evidence” in experimental animals. IARC assigned 2,4-D to Group 2B, possibly carcinogenic to humans, based on epidemiological and experimental evidence of carcinogenicity and mechanistic and other relevant data for the chemical. Explanations of IARC’s categories are available on the agency's website.
According to the monograph, workers can be exposed to 2,4-D from product manufacturing and agricultural use, and from forestry, right-of-way, and turf or lawn applications. IARC notes that other populations may be indirectly exposed to the herbicide as a result of “take-home” and “drift” exposures. While dermal absorption and inhalation are the typical routes of occupational exposure for 2,4-D, the monograph states that some incidental ingestion may also occur.

IARC monographs identify and evaluate environmental factors that can increase carcinogenic risks to humans. Learn more on IARC’s website.
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