Is MSMA Herbicide Dangerous?

MSMA (Monosodium methanearsonate) is a herbicide used to control weeds like crabgrass and dallisgrass, mainly in cotton fields, golf courses, and sod farms. It’s an organoarsenic compound, which means it can be harmful to the environment and has health risks if not handled properly.

Is there a risk to using MSMA?

The risks of using MSMA include direct toxicity to non-target plant species, potential harm to wildlife, especially aquatic organisms due to runoff, and human health risks through exposure, such as skin and eye irritation, and more serious effects like arsenic poisoning with long-term exposure.

Is MSMA bad for the environment?

MSMA poses significant environmental hazards; it can lead to arsenic contamination of soil and water bodies, disrupting ecosystems. Its persistence in the environment can lead to bioaccumulation in aquatic life, posing risks up the food chain and impacting biodiversity.

Is organic a better arcenic form than inorganic?

While organic arsenic compounds are generally less immediately toxic than their inorganic counterparts, suggesting one is “better” overlooks the complexity of arsenic’s environmental and health impacts. Both forms can convert to more harmful species under environmental conditions, with long-term exposure risks including carcinogenicity.

Over time, these compounds can break down in the soil into different arsenic forms, including organic arsenic, which was once thought to be less harmful. However, research has shown that even these organic forms can pose long-term health risks, such as an increased risk of cancer, due to their ability to convert back into more toxic, inorganic arsenic in the body. This cycle illustrates the complex and potentially hazardous nature of arsenic in any form, underscoring the importance of careful consideration and management of arsenic use and exposure.

Can I use MSMA on my lawn if I buy it from a store?

Purchasing MSMA from a store does not automatically grant legality or safety for its use on residential lawns. Its application is subject to stringent regulations due to its potential to contaminate water sources and harm non-target organisms. Always check local regulations and consider the environmental implications and safety precautions.

Will water treatment remove all herbicide contamination?

While modern water treatment technologies can significantly reduce many types of herbicide contamination, they are not universally capable of removing all traces, especially specific compounds like arsenic. Advanced treatments may reduce levels, but the effectiveness varies widely, and some contaminants may remain, posing health risks.

Does legal for farms mean safe for home lawns?

The legality of agricultural herbicides for farm use does not imply they are safe for residential applications. Agricultural use is governed by strict guidelines regarding application rates, timing, and protective measures to mitigate risks, which do not necessarily apply to or ensure safety in residential settings. The scale, method of application, and potential for exposure differ greatly, necessitating separate evaluations for safety and legality.

9 crazy non-data-backed things people said about it on Facebook

If you apply at the correct rate there is no risk, it needs to be a consistent 80-90 degree’s during the day to really work.” – Jordan Lee Wynn

While dialing in the application rate and weather conditions is key, suggesting there’s no risk oversimplifies the complexities. Even with precision, unintended environmental and health risks remain. It’s akin to believing meticulous driving eliminates all road hazards, overlooking the unpredictable elements at play.

Yes it can leech into the water way but hell with the GE chemical spill and contaminated rivers that we get our water from I would hope the EPA and FDA would take the time to focus on the bigger picture.” – Chris Graham

Pointing to larger environmental disasters to minimize the impact of herbicide runoff misses the cumulative nature of pollution. While industrial spills are catastrophic, the additive effect of widespread herbicide misuse also poses significant risks. It’s a collective impact, where every source of pollution matters.

As long as your using by correct labeled rate and not in a vulnerable area(sandy/permable soils) Also, using the correct droplet size, avoiding drift and not applying within 100ft of water, it’s relatively safe.” – Michael McClure

Adherence to label guidelines does enhance safety, yet the term “relatively safe” glosses over the inherent risks still at play. Environmental variables and human error introduce unpredictability, akin to relying solely on a parachute’s reliability for skydiving safety without considering external factors.

Water treatment plants can/will have an arsenic treatment facility if there is an arsenic problem in the water table. It’s been a while, but I’m pretty sure >8ppm is approved by the EPA/Safe Water Drinking Act.” – Trevor Anderson

Relying on water treatment technologies as a fallback for herbicide pollution is problematic. While treatment facilities can mitigate some contaminants, preemptive pollution prevention is preferable, echoing the principle that preventing pollution is more effective than treating it post-contamination.

You can buy it at your local farmers co-op. If it would be completely banned if it was as much of a danger as some here claim.” – Weston Tanner

The logic that availability equates to safety overlooks regulatory nuances and the context-dependent nature of herbicide application. Much like the sale of fireworks doesn’t sanction their use in all settings, the presence of a product on store shelves doesn’t universally validate its safe or legal use.

It’s an arsenic! Use responsible it gets into the ground water and well water.” – Coy Williams

Highlighting arsenic’s dangers underscores the need for cautious and minimal use. However, even responsible application can’t fully negate the risk of groundwater contamination, suggesting a more cautious approach to arsenic-based herbicides is warranted, similar to handling any substance with known risks to health and the environment

Organic arsenic also know as the non toxic kind. Big difference from the inorganic arsenic people confuse it with.” – Jason Arnes

The distinction between organic and inorganic arsenic might suggest a benign versus harmful dichotomy, but it’s crucial to understand that all arsenic forms can pose risks. Simplifying arsenic into “toxic” and “non-toxic” categories overlooks the subtleties of its environmental and health impacts, akin to underestimating the complexities of managing hazardous materials.

If it can be used on a farm then why not a home lawn?” – Jacob Butler

This comparison fails to account for the differences in regulations, application techniques, and environmental impact assessments between agricultural and residential settings. It’s similar to equating professional use of a substance with its safe domestic use, ignoring the nuanced understanding and precautions that professional settings involve.


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