New Commercial Pesticide Toxicity Analysis Highlights Need to Shift to Organic Products

May 20, 2021 | Beyond Pesticides and Friends of the Earth (FOE) collaborated to analyze herbicide products at two of the most popular home and garden retailers, Home Depot and Lowe’s. This Commercial Herbicide Analysis highlights the adverse health and environmental effects of widely available toxic pesticides while encouraging retailers to expand on—and consumers to use—safer, least/non-toxic pesticide products. According to Akayla Bracey, Beyond Pesticides’ science and regulatory manager and lead researcher on the review, said, “People generally aren’t aware that the pesticides widely available in garden retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s are a threat to health and the environment, and that there are safer products that are available and used in organic land management.” The analysis, conducted by Beyond Pesticides, reveals that approximately half of all Home Depot herbicide products (24 of 51) and Lowe’s herbicide products (23 of 40) contain ingredients considered Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HPPs). The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FOA) classifies HHPs as “pesticides linked with a high incidence of severe or irreversible adverse effects on human health or the environment.” The following active ingredients pose the most harm to human, animal, and ecosystem health, including cancer, reproductive harm, neurotoxicity, and hormone (endocrine) disruption: glyphosate, 2,4-D, dicamba, mecoprop, and pendimethalin. Of these five chemicals, all but dicamba are classifiable as HHPs. Only 29 percent of Home Depot (15 of 51) and 17 percent of Lowe’s (7 of 40) herbicide products qualify as least-toxic or organic. [Bracey, Akayla et al. Beyond Pesticides and Friends of the Earth. 2021]