2,4-


FACT SHEET ON A DRINKING WATER CHEMICAL CONTAMINANT
GENERAL INFORMATION
Synonymt:
•	2,4-Dichlorophenoxvacetic acid
•	Trade names (more than 1500 products):
Agrotect; Amidox; Amoxone. Aqua Kleen;
Barwelf; Dincxoi; Esfone; Herbidal; Hormatox.
Phenox; Salvo; Tfibuton; Weedone. Weed-B-
Gon; Weed-No-More; Transamine; Miracle
Chemical Description:
•	Chlorinated hydrocarbon herbicide applied as
an acid and as various esters and amine salts
of the acid compound
Properties:
•	White, crystalline powder at room temperature
•	Slightly soluble in water
•	Low vapor pressure
Production and Use:
•	Used chiefly as an herbicide to control grasses
and broadleaf weeds in numerous crops; also
used in non-crop sites (industrial and
home/garden settings) to control perennial
weeds and grasses
•	Used primarily on wheat, corn, rangeland/
pastures, sorghum, barley, and lawns;
generality applied after plant emergence by
aerial spray or ground equipment
» Approved for use in and around water (lakes,
ponds, estuaries, drainage ditches, etc.)
ENVIRONMENTAL PROFILE
Occurrence:
•	Infrequent contaminant of drinking water
supplies, with greater potential for contam-
ination of surface waters than ground waters
•	Has not been reported to occur above the
MCI in ground water or surface wafer derived
drinking water supplies
Releases:
•	Enters surface water as a result of runoff from
treated soil or direct application to water
» May enter ground water from direct entry info
a well through accidental chemical spills or
improper storage near a "well
Environmental Fate:
» Non-persistent in the environment:
•	will biodegrade (major removal process)
with almost complete biodegradation in soil
and surface water within 2 to 8 weeks
•	metabolized by plants
•	readiiy degraded by soil bacteria
•	will not volatilize from either soil or wafer
•	mobile in soil, but rate is dependant upon
soil type (will only adsorb to certain soils);
may migrate to ground water
•	susceptible to phofodegradation
•	subject to wash-out by rain from the
atmosphere
•	low potential for bioaccumulation
HEALTH EFFECTS
Humans:
•' Cases of human exposure indicate that 2,4-D
causes damage to the nervous system
Experimental Animals:
•	limited animal data, but both acute and
chronic studies indicate that 2,4-D has adverse
effects upon functions of the nervous system,
liver, and kidneys
•	Has fetotoxic effects, but is only weakly
teratogenic or nonteratogenic
» Equivocal evidence of mutagenic potential
•	Little data on carcinogenic potential
REGULATORY PROFILE
Existing Standards:
•Clean Air Act (CAA): Not regulated
•Clean Water Act (CWA):
No criteria established
•Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
(RCRA):
Hazardous waste
•Superfund (CERCLA):
•Hazardous substance
•SARA: Toxic chemical
•Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and
iodenttcide Act (FIFRA):
Registered
•Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA):
Regulated"

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HEALTH INFORMATION
ANALYTICAL METHODS
Maximum Contaminant level Goals (MCIG):
•	Non-enforceable levels based solely on an
evaluation of possible health risks and
exposure, and taking info consideration a
margin for public safety
•	Set at 0.07 mg/l to protect against damage to
fhe liver, kidneys, and nervous system
MCLG for 2.4-D * 0.07 mg/l
(effective July 1992)
Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL):
•	Legally enforceable levels for contaminants in
public drinking wafer supplies
•	Based on health risks associated with the
contaminants, analytical methods for their
assay, and water treatment feasibility and
practicality aspects
•	Exceedance of the MCL in drinking water may
result in adverse effects which will depend
upon the contaminant concentration in water,
amount of water/contaminant ingested,
length of exposure, and other biological
parameters
•	Current MCL = 0,1 mg/L
MCL for 2.4-D = 0.07 mg/L
(effective July 1992)
EPA Health Advlsoriet (HA):
•	Short-term HAi: Provide acceptable
concentrations of contaminants in wafer for
up to 10 day exposures, primarily to evaluate
fhe public health risk resulting from an
accidental spill or an emergency
contamination situation
•	Longer-term HA$: Provide guidance tor
persistent water contamination situations to
cover a period of up to 7 years
•	Lifetime HAs: Derived in the same way as an
MCIG
•	Gas Chromatography with an Electron
Capture Detector
EPA Method 515.1
WATER TREATMENT
Permanent Treatment:
•	Beit Available Technology (SAT):
• Granular Activated Carbon
SHORT-TERM HAZARD ELIMINATION
•	If the drinking wafer standards are exceeded,
install IAT or use an alternative drinking water
supply such as bottled water
ADDITIONAL HELP
•	State or county health officials can indicate a
certified laboratory for testing
» Experts in fhe state Department of
Environmental Protection, Natural Resources, or
Agriculture may also be of help
» The EPA has toll-free numbers for further
information on drinking water quality,
treatment technologies, for obtaining Health
Advisories, and for other regulatory information
•	EPA Hotlines are available Monday through
Friday
•Safe Drinking Wafer	800-426-4791
•National Pesticide*:	800-858-7378
•Superfund/RCRA:	800-424-9346
•	For information on the Clean Water Act call
(202) 260-7301
•	For information on fhe Toxic Substances
Control Act, call (202) 554-1404
•	For information on the Clean Air Act, call
(919) 541-2777
Hecrith Advisories:
Short-term HA for a child = 0,3 mg/l
Longer-term HA for a child »
Insufficient data to calculate
Longer-term HA for an adult =
Insufficient data to calculate
Lifetime HA = 0.07 mg/L

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