Thursday 23 January 2014

Do YOU know what Chlorpropham is?

Chlorpropham... ever heard of it?  I certainly hadn't until I watched this awesome video put together by a 5th grader.  Elise tells the story of her project about sweet potatoes, and her effort to get one to sprout..... and what she learned about the chemical Chlorpropham that is sprayed on a lot of vegetables and fruit to stop them from sprouting...

Now, we all know about the evil of GMOs and pesticides, but have you ever heard of this chemical Chlorpropham?  I certainly had never heard of it before!  So I decided to do just a little bit of research - and I mean a very little bit, because page one of Google search on Chlorpropham provided me with all the info I really needed.

Cornell University:


Chlorpropham is a plant growth regulator used for preemergence control of grass weeds in alfalfa, lima and snap beans, blueberries, cane berries, carrots, cranberries, ladino clover, garlic, seed grass, onions, spinach, sugar beets, tomatoes, safflower, soybeans, gladioli and woody nursery stock. It is also used to inhibit potato sprouting and for sucker control in tobacco (1). Chlorpropham is available in emulsifiable concentrate and liquid formulations.



Chlorpropham is moderately toxic by ingestion (2). It may cause irritation of the eyes or skin (2). Symptoms of poisoning in laboratory animals have included listlessness, incoordination, nose bleeds, protruding eyes, bloody tears, difficulty in breathing, prostration, inability to urinate, high fevers, and death. Autopsies of animals have shown inflammation of the stomach and intestinal lining, congestion of the brain, lungs and other organs, and degenerative changes in the kidneys and liver (2)

What Are The Dangers Of Clorpropham?

In an assessment conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, studies using laboratory animals found that “chlorpropham generally has… low acute toxicity” and placed in Toxicity Category III. With that said, here are their findings:
“Chlorpropham is a mild eye and skin irritant, and is practically NON-TOXIC through dermal exposure.”


A dermal study using rabbits show that they “produced SKIN IRRITATION and BLOOD CELL CHANGES.”

A study using beagle dogs “resulted in REDUCED BODY WEIGHT GAIN, ANEMIA, and changes in THYROID FUNCTION and STRUCTURE.”

A rat feeding study also found “BODY WEIGHT GAIN… REDUCED”, in addition to, “DESTRUCTION AND LOSS OF RED BLOOD CELLS.

A developmental study in rats found a “TREATMENT RELATED FETAL EFFECT– an increased incident of rudimentary 14th rib.”

“A developmental study with rabbits resulted in INCREASEDEMBRYO RESORPTIONS and POST-IMPLANTATION LOSS.”

“A reproductive rat study affected GROWTH and HISTOPATHOLOGICAL CHANGES in the spleeen, bone marrow, liver, and kidney.”

“Chlorpropham tested POSITIVE in TWO out of FOUR MUTAGENICITY studies.”

The United States Environmental Protection Agency assesses chlorpropham
An Assessment of chlorpropham by the United States Environmental Protection Agency
(Click on the image to take you to the official Assessment)


The assessment also states on its fourth (4th) page that,
“Although chlorpropham is classified as a group E chemical (evidence of non-carcinogenicity for HUMANS) according to the Agency’s cancer classification guidelines, one of its metabolites, 3-chloroaniline, is STRUCTURALLY SIMILAR to a KNOWN CARCINOGEN, 4-chloroaniline… Based on the structure of the compounds, the Agency believes that 3-chloroaniline is probably, at most, equally as potent… [as] 4-chloroaniline.”

Yea.....I  think I'll just grow my own veggies as much as possible from now on.

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