Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Warning: Some Garden Mulches Now Contain Pesticides

Do you really read labels before being products?  Be sure to read the notice below.  It will make you think twice before picking up a bag of mulch without reading what’s in the bag.

The following information was provided by Nancy Alderman, President of Environmental and Human Health, Inc.
There are now some garden mulches being sold that contain an herbicide. The herbicide is trifluralin and is sold under the name “Preen Mulch Plus."   Preen is manufactured by Lebanon Seaboard Corporation in Lebanon Pa.   One cannot be too careful when buying garden mulch these days.  There is no end to industries’ inventiveness.

The fact sheet on Trifluralin is as follows:
Trifluralin is classified by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as Group C, possible human carcinogen(21). In a two-year study of rats fed 325 mg/kg per day, malignant tumours developed in the kidneys, bladder and thyroid(22). Because there is a possible increase in the risk of cancer to humans, the EPA's Lifetime Health Advisory level for trifluralin in drinking water of 5 micrograms per litre includes an additional safety margin(23).
A concern about the carcinogenicity risk of occupational exposure to trifluralin is also acknowledged by the US EPA, with the stipulation that workers, particularly mixers, loaders, and applicators, should use personal protective equipment including coveralls, chemical-resistant gloves, shoes and socks. Post-application,
workers should observe a 12 hour Restricted Entry Interval(24), a condition which is unlikely to be communicated or observed in developing countries.

Endocrine-disrupting effects
Trifluralin is an endocrine-disrupting chemical, according to both the UK Environment Agency and the World Wide Fund for Nature(25). These chemicals have adverse, 'gender-bender' effects by interfering with the body's hormones, or chemical messengers, and are active at even miniscule levels (see PAN UK briefing No.2 Mixed messages: pesticides that confuse hormones).

Reproductive effects
Loss of appetite and weight loss followed by miscarriages were observed when pregnant rats were fed 224 or 500 mg/kg per day. Foetal weight decreased and there was an increase in the number of foetal runts at 500 mg/kg per day dosage(26).

Fate in the environment
The persistence of trifluralin in agricultural soils following incorporation is highly variable, depending on several factors including depth of incorporation, soil moisture and temperature. Its persistence is categorized as 'moderate' to 'persistent'(27).  Several field dissipation studies in northern latitudes in Canada
 indicated half-lives ranging from 126 to 190 days(28)

The mulch also contains a second herbicide, Isoxaben.  On the label, you’ll read:
·         Highly toxic to fish
·         Not for use on any plants that will produce food in the next year.
·         Keep out of reach of children.

Any reactions after reading this?


  1. Nicely written and great info.Thanks to share the more information's.
    black mulch

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