What Is 2,4-D Weed Killer?

A useful tool for homeowners and landscapers, 2,4-D killer is a commonly used pesticide and herbicide. Its full chemical name is 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, and was developed by a British scientist after World War II to help suppress weeds and increase the yield of crops.

The herbicide works by preventing the growth of dicot plants, or leaves with two seed leaves. The herbicide is most commonly sprayed on grass-type crops, such as wheat, corn and rice, which are all monocots that are not damaged by it. If the label instructions are properly followed, there is no risk when consumed by humans. There is no link between its use and cancer, notes a 2007 study by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.