Profile of the herbicide ‘Escalade 2’
- Published: June 27, 2013
According to Dr. Jason Russell, a medical toxicology fellow at the Ohio University College of Medicine who works at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, villagers have “not much to worry about,” following the recent overuse of the herbicide Escalade 2 at the Gaunt Park pool. While the concentration of the herbicide use may have been 20 to 30 times the intended strength (according to Council Member Rick Walkey), there still is little reason to worry, Russell said.
“This product is actually very safe in the world of herbicides,” he said in an interview Tuesday.
The product’s main ingredient, 2,4–D, can be dangerous if a significant amount is ingested, Dr. Russell said, but that means a very large amount, much greater than what someone might gulp by accident in a pool. If such an ingestion occurred, the symptoms could be gastrointestinal or respiratory problems which should be immediately apparent, as would be a burning of the mouth or nose. Those exposed to potentially harmful chemicals are advised to leave the area, then shower. If immediate effects weren’t felt, it’s unlikely that there would be later symptoms, he said.
“There shouldn’t be any long-lasting effects,” he said.
Longterm studies done on the chemical show no link to cancer or reproductive problems, according to Russell, who said the International Agency for Cancer Research, or IACR, classifies 2,4–D as a 2B chemical, which means there is “limited evidence that it’s carcinogenic in humans.”
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “human health effects from 2,4–D at low environmental levels or at biomonitored levels from low environmental exposures are unknown. 2,4–D has low acute toxicity. Intentional overdoses and unintentional high dose exposures …have resulted in weakness, headache, dizziness, nausea, abdominal pain, myotonia, hypotention, renal and hepatic injury and delayed neuropathy.” While studies have reported links with several types of cancer after longterm exposure to the herbicides, it is unclear if the links are related to the 2,4-D or to other contaminants in the herbicide. The chemical was not shown to be carcinogenic in animal studies. Additional information is available from the U.S. EPA at www.epa.gov/pesticides .
Those with questions about the product or its effects on health may contact Prosar-Toxicology at 888-884-7330, and provide Case #133997711, according to the Village of Yellow Springs.