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All Photos Courtesy of Lisa Hardin Mauldin

Hiding In Plain Sight

A widely used herbicide known as 2,4-D is an ingredient in over 1,500 types of weed killer sold in the United States.  To be more specific it is 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. It’s a hidden danger to pets and people. It hides in plain sight, listed as an ingredient on herbicide containers and nobody thinks anything about it. It’s widely used as a spray on cereal crops, pastures and orchards. We eat the products sprayed with this terrible chemical. The World Health Organization doesn’t seem too worried, putting the threat in the same category as cancer from coffee and red meat. However their study is based on insufficient evidence in humans and limited evidence in experimental animals.

2,4-D Was Mixed With Dioxin to Create Agent Orange

This same ingredient was half of the lethal mixture, along with the banned Dioxin in the infamous herbicide known as Agent Orange,  used to kill jungle foliage during the Vietnam War. The results of that on our troops returning home should tell us something. They weren’t told that it was dangerous and thousands came home from that war and developed  cancers of all kinds. The planes who sprayed the herbicide sprayed it where they were told to spray it, without knowledge of American troops presence. As for the soldiers, they were never told it was a dangerous substance, they only knew it helped to eliminate hiding places for the enemy. Some were even heard to say it was refreshing and helped to cool them off from the heat of the jungle. Soldiers sometinmes found themselves wet with it, not once, but several times. They also didn’t know that the mere handling of objects covered with it was also dangerous. After the war, an extraordinary number of troops who had served in Vietnam during the herbicidal sprays developed testicular cancer, pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, and various types of lymphoma. They began to realize there was a common denominator and they or their families fought the government to consider it a “service connected disability.” Eventually the government agreed in the face of overwhelming proof, but some men never lived to see it finally accepted as such. The government blamed it all on Dioxin, which the government removed and banned from use. But its partner in crime, 2,4-D is still in use in almost every brand of weed killer.


Happy, healthy Farrah in 2013 at Pioche Dog Show

Happy, healthy Farrah in 2013 at Pioche Dog Show


My Granddog, Farrah

Perhaps you’re wondering why I have a photo of a dog at the top of this article. Here’s why: we have reasons to believe a dog in our family has a terrible, incurable disease from contact with 2, 4-D.  My granddog Farrah, shown in this article, loves bathing in the sun in the grass. She will turn over on her back and wiggle and squirm and just enjoy being on the warm ground. She’s a fun dog, loves to play and has a great personality. She’s beautiful too and won a prize in a dog show in Pioche, NV for her beautiful, amber colored eyes.

Farrah is now in misery

A few months ago my daughter Lisa noticed that she was doing a lot of scratching. She’s a mostly white, slick coated dog, not a lot of fur. If you knew my daughter, you’d know she doesn’t tolerate critters like fleas and ticks on her dogs, Farrah and Elsie. She bathes them regularly and always keeps an eye out for any kind of bug that might become attached. She started searching Farrah’s white fur and found nothing. Because she bathes them so regularly she thought maybe it was dry skin. Skipping a bath wouldn’t hurt, as long as Farrah had no bugs of any sort on her, so she did without one. But still the itching continued so Lisa thought maybe it was allergies. Under her usual vet’s orders she began giving her Benadryl which made Farrah drowsy, but she still scratched. She also had diarrhea and vomited a few times, but the vomiting was laid to eating too fast, and the diarrhea was thought to be from the Benadryl. Finally one day Lisa spotted a growth on the dog, just a small one and she thought “well, nothing serious, just one of those things dogs get sometimes.” But in a day or two there were more and then they began popping up all over her. Overnight and every day there were more and they itched terribly. She also began to have trouble breathing. Lisa took her to her regular vet who would not do a biopsy under local anesthesia and did not want to put her under general anesthesia to do one.  Each day the growths increased and Lisa then took Farrah to another vet who did a biopsy under local anesthesia on the growths. When the results came back, we were all stunned. The result is my granddog Farrah is now slowly dying from canine cutaneous lymphoma, caused by exposure to chemicals. Her body is covered with tumors, more of them every day, no place on her body is safe, they’re in her anus and her vulva, even beginning to grow in her eyes. They itch terribly and there is no hopeful prognosis for her. Her spleen is swollen and hardened, her blood count is low and the doctor says she probably has the tumors all through her body. We are angry about the chemicals. Although we can’t prove it, we believe the exposure to these weed killers caused this. If you check some of the links I’ve given below and read the parts about Canine Cutaneous Lymphoma, you will understand.  There are many types of lymphoma in dogs and humans including multicentric, mediastinal, gastrointestinal, and the rarest, which Farrah has, is cutaneous lymphoma. Today, May 24th, Farrah was euthanized. Lisa and I are devastated of course, but it’s the right thing to do for Farrah.




List of ingredients on Trimec weed killer. Note that 2,4-D is the largest percentage ACTIVE ingredient in the weed killer. Photo courtesy of Lisa Hardin Mauldin.

“Safe For Pets and People Once It Dries” Really?

According to the instructions on the bottle of the herbicides which were used it says, “Safe for pets and people once it dries.” The container states what precautions people who are applying the herbicide should take; including wearing chemical resistant rubber gloves, long sleeve shirt, respirator mask, closed toe shoes, etc. Nobody I’ve ever seen spraying herbicide wears does any of this and it begs the question, if they need to do all that, should they even be using it? I’m horrified that this stuff is still sold and used nationwide. I don’t believe for one minute that it’s safe for pets and people once it dries.



Farrah, showing some of the effects of Canine Cutaneous Lymphoma, May 2016

Farrah, showing some of the effects
of Canine Cutaneous Lymphoma, May 2016

cutaneous lymphoma lesions spreading on Farrah, more every day

cutaneous lymphoma lesions spreading on Farrah, more every day


Each day the lesions increase. They itch, she scratches and they bleed.

Each day the lesions increase. They itch, she scratches and they bleed.


What About The Great-Grandkids?

If that isn’t enough, what about my great-grandchildren who love to play outside in the yard, in the grass at their Grammy Lisa’s house? The hidden danger of  2,4-D is that no one realizes this chemical is so dangerous. Lisa’s home is in the state of Oklahoma, where weeds are rampant and many people spray their yards and their crops with weed killer. Because there are plenty of other states like Oklahoma who are overrun with weeds every summer, there are probably lots of places spraying these weed killers that contain this chemical, 2,4-D. Why is this dangerous substance still in use in our nation? Because it does what it does so efficiently, that’s why. And every store sells it because … it sells!! So when someone from a neighboring yard sprays this herbicide and the wind is blowing just right, anyone or anything outside at that time gets a dose of 2,4-D without even knowing it. The residue is still on everything it touches, and goes into our soil and seeps into our ground water. So not only do we need to be concerned for it in the air, but also for contaminating well water in the rural areas. Beware, this hidden danger to people and pets should never be used again. So far my great-grandchildren are fine, but we do not know what effect it will have in the future.

Contrary To The World Health Organization’s Findings

2,4-D IS a dangerous chemical all by itself. Here is a link for some, but not all, brand names that contain this killer chemical. Note that there are 12 pages of these brand names listed.

A List of Common Pesticide Products Containing 2, 4-D

For more information on the effects of 2, 4-D, here are websites you might be interested in researching:

What Is 2, 4-D?

Purdue University on Canine Lymphoma

Toxicological Effects on Humans and Animals

Fact Sheet on Effects on Dogs and Cats 

Oregon State University Fact Sheet

Reasons to Buy Organic Foods

Canine Cutaneous Lymphoma

Overview of Canine Cutaneous Lymphoma and its Causes

Looking for a homemade weed killer recipe? Try Vinegar, but be careful which plants get it, because they too will die. However vinegar is not dangerous to anything that walks, crawls, creeps or swims. Check out this link for a weed killer suggested by HGTV, which uses vinegar, salt and liquid dish soap. None of those things will kill people or animals.

Natural Vinegar Weed Killer