Comparative subchronic and chronic dietary toxicity studies on 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, amine, and ester in the dog

Fundam Appl Toxicol. 1996 Jan;29(1):78-85. doi: 10.1006/faat.1996.0008.


Forms of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) are herbicides used in the control of a wide variety of broadleaf and woody plants. Subchronic toxicity studies in dogs were conducted on three forms of 2,4-D: the parent form, 2,4-D acid (ACID); 2,4-D dimethylamine salt (DMA); and 2,4-D 2-ethylhexyl ester (2-EHE). The three studies were designed to allow for comparison of the toxicity of the three forms. Doses in the subchronic studies, on an acid equivalent basis, were 0, 0.5 (ACID only), 1.0, 3.75, and 7.5 mg/kg/day. Treatment related findings in the three studies included reductions in body weight gain, and food consumption, and minor increases in blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and alanine aminotransferase. The data from the three subchronic studies demonstrated the comparable toxicity of ACID, DMA, and 2-EHE and support a subchronic no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) of 1.0 mg/kg/day for all three forms. Due to the similarity in toxicity of the three forms of 2,4-D, a 1-year chronic toxicity study was performed on the parent ACID to fully characterize the potential toxicity of 2,4-D in the dog. ACID was well tolerated at doses of 0, 1.0, 5.0, and 7.5 mg/kg/day. The clinical pathology alterations were similar to those seen in the subchronic studies and were not progressive. The histopathology alterations observed were not severe in nature and the no observed effect level in the chronic study was determined to be 1.0 mg/kg/day. There was no indication of any immunotoxic or oncogenic response in the studies. In conclusion, the findings of these studies indicate comparable toxicity among representative forms of 2,4-D and their generally low toxicity following subchronic and chronic dietary exposure in the dog.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid / administration & dosage
  • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid / metabolism
  • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid / toxicity*
  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Chemistry, Clinical
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Immune System / drug effects
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • No-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level


  • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid