In Defense of Krenite
I read with concern Ms. Mallek’s letter about the hazards of the herbicide Krenite.
Ms. Mallek is incorrect on several issues, not the least of which is her claim that Krenite is not labeled for rights-of-way use. That and forestry are its primary uses, which are stated on the product label. It has been used on Virginia highways since the mid-1970s and, to my knowledge, has never presented a health or off right-of-way problem.
The list of maladies Ms. Mallek associates with Krenite are addressed on the product Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), which is available on the Internet from a variety of sources. Those she addresses are for the undiluted product and no specific intervention is recommended for any of them, as none are likely to be hazardous. The protective clothing required for handling Krenite are a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and socks and shoes.
The hazard signal word on the Krenite label is ‘Caution,’ indicating only a slight hazard. By comparison, check your toothpaste tube or the products under your sink.
With regard to Krenite persistence, its soil half-life is generally considered to be one to 12 days, depending on soil type and other environmental conditions. There are no plant-back restrictions following Krenite use.
Ms. Mallek asserts that there are applicators in the Charlottesville area who are making improper application with products they cannot identify. Anyone who believes that someone or some company is violating the pesticide label or Virginia or Federal law should contact the Virginia Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Pesticide Services. They have investigators who will respond to such reports and the penalties and fines can be very substantial.
Cutting brush is an alternative. But one must remember that it is a dangerous operation (particularly for the worker) and also leaves a petroleum residue with a half life far exceeding Krenite.
Extension Specialist (Weeds)
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