Herbicide Aminopyralid Dangers

Aminopyralid is a pesticide or herbacide in the pyridine family. The chemical is sprayed onto grasses or other areas that do not contain crops, but are home to weeds, and causes them to wither and die. Aminopyralid is, after being tested extensively by the EPA and its manufacturer, Dow Chemical Company, considered less toxic than other chemical controls on the market. The dangers of the herbicide are few when used properly, however, there are still health concerns that should be considered before application.

Eye Irritation

Eye irritation was reported when Dow Chemical Company tested Aminopyralid on rabbits in 2002. The studies were conducted with what was called a "technical product," in the initial phases of study and categorization by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The eye irritation issues cause the herbicide to be known as a category 1 danger when dealing with the stronger technical product. The milestone product, or the product available to consumers, has been found by the EPA to be less toxic, and is categorized as a "caution" in respect to eye irritation. However, consumers should still take care to wear protective eyewear when using Aminopyralid to prevent injury from accidental application to the eye.

Oral Exposure in Children

The EPA fact sheet for Aminopyralid explains that exposure to the chemical is not likely through inhalation, but that small children have a greater margin of exposure to the pesticide when putting their hands in their mouths after being in a treated area. Though the agency states that children in this position are not likely to experience health effects from accidental exposure, its animal studies reveal that large doses of Aminopyralid can cause ulcers and stomach erosion in some cases. Dow Agrosciences' "Milestone Review" for the pesticide reports that the chemical can be used close to water without the risk of contamination.

Altered Vegetation

Aminopyralid can destroy vegetable gardens and cause crops to die or become disfigured, according to Britain's Royal Horticultural Society. Owners of the gardens affected by nearby treatments of Aminopyralid found that the soil in their gardens were contaminated by the pesticide, and their produce did not grow as expected. Dow Chemical Company recommended that the altered produce be discarded to avoid possible illness from the toxic chemical, and the soil should not be used for a year from the time of contamination.

Keywords: herbicide, chemical control, pyridine

About this Author

Erica Roth was a college reference librarian for 8 years, and has been a freelance writer since 2007. Roth graduated with honors from Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in French Literature, and earned an Master of Library Science from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Roth is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.