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July 18, 1953


JAMA. 1953;152(12):1144. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.03690120060017

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The control of unwanted vegetation that harbors insects, blisters the skin, or produces undesirable types of pollen has been largely unsuccessful because of the lack of convenient and relatively inexpensive means of eradicating the offending plants. The widespread distribution of pollen-producing weeds such as various species of Ambrosia (ragweed) and skin-irritating vines, bushes, and shrubs of the genera of Toxicodendron (poison ivy, sumac, and oak) has been one of the principal obstacles to successful management of seasonal allergic rhinitis and contact dermatitis due to these causes. The introduction of selective herbicides has renewed interest in the control of these and other noxious plants.

The most widely heralded herbicide development of the past decade was the public announcement in 1944 of the growth-regulating properties of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). Weed control through growth regulation marked a new departure in herbicides and offered one of the most promising methods for eliminating noxious vegetation

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