Author Topic: Rooting Hormone (IBA) Safe for Propagating Edible Plants like Fruit Trees?  (Read 3491 times)

willpollinateforfood

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Hello Everyone,
         I have been reading about warning labels on rooting hormone containers that say use only for ornamentals, not edible plants. Also mentions not getting the powder or liquid on your skin, in your eyes, or lungs. My question is, is it safe to use rooting hormone with IBA as an active ingredient for plants that you will eventually harvest leaves, fruits, seeds from in months or years after using a bit of hormone on a cutting? I purchased a small bottle of TakeRoot 1% IBA active ingredient rooting powder.
         Does this harmful stuff accumulate in the plant's leaves/fruit or will it dissipate? One article I read stated one reason it is labeled for non food use is because the EPA tests are expensive and time consuming. Lastly, another article mentioned the IBA is neurotoxic. Finally, another stated the harm index for skin contact was very low, and only slightly higher for inhalation, meaning overall this is a decently safe product to handle.
          I am most curious about the safety of eating a plant grown from a cutting that I used rooting hormone on.
Thanks,
Kelly F.

pineislander

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I would expect months won't make a difference. Years would be no problem.
here is a detailed fact sheet:
https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/Indole%203%20Butyric%20Acid%20TR.pdf

Coach62

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Copy / paste from the above document.

EPA (2000) concluded that “this plant growth regulator poses no known risks to humans or the
293 environment,” and “in animals, indole-3-butyric acid is rapidly broken down to a closely related, harmless
294 chemical that occurs naturally in living organisms.”
295 IBA occurs naturally in plants and is produced by soil bacteria, as given in Questions #2 and #3. The usage
296 of IBA is limited in amount and in location, as given in Question #5. “IBA is metabolized into IAA in the
297 human body and IAA is a common metabolite in tryptophan metabolism in human,” EPA (1992). 40 CFR
298 180.1158, given above in the “Status” section, exempts the residues of IBA (and IAA) in or on food
299 commodities from the requirement of a tolerance.
300 IBA is “not listed”, “not available”, “no NTP studies”, and “no” in the categories of “Acute Toxicity”,
301 “Cancer Information”, “Endocrine Disruption”, “Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity” and
302 “Chemicals of Special Concern” in the PAN Pesticides Database (PAN, 2011).
303 EPA, in 1992, waived all toxicity data requirements for the pesticide registration of IBA because the general
304 exposure and the dietary exposure to the products containing IBA were expected to be very low (EPA,
305 1992). EPA, based on recently available data, provided that IBA, the active ingredient in the registered
306 products, is a Toxicity Category III or IV substance, in terms of “acute oral toxicity”, “acute dermal
307 toxicity”, “acute inhalation toxicity” and “acute dermal irritation” (EPA, 2010). Two LD50 values are listed
308 here as examples for evaluating IBA’s toxicity: acute oral LD50 > 2,000 mg kg-1 (rat); and acute dermal LD50
309 > 2,000 mg kg-1 (rabbit).
310 IBA might be a Toxicity Category II material in terms of corneal involvement and/or irritation cleaning in
311 8-21 days (EPA, 2010).
312 The data requirements for other items are still waived: “90-day oral”, “90-day dermal”, “90-day inhalation”
313 and “prenatal developmental” (EPA, 2010; 40 CFR 180.1158).
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Bruce

willpollinateforfood

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Thank you everyone!! I am incredibly grateful to be thoroughly informed before I use my new rooting hormone (just arrived in the mail today). As always, I am careful and use basic precautions like wearing gloves or washing my hands, only using the smallest amount needed, and working outdoors for ventilation.

- Kelly F.

Future

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I picked up some also as part of an current project so concur this info is good to know.

lebmung

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IBA is synthetic and it has a strong odour if it's fresh. Under high temperature and light it disintegrates fast.
It has a toxic effect on humans and fish. Do not use on plants that you intend to eat in the next 3-6 months, like cabbage or propagating mint, for fruit trees it's no problem.
IAA is much more safer, potent and naturally occurring but not stable more than few days unless stored under proper conditions.

Coach62

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Since the body breaks it down to tryptophan you won’t have to eat turkey to get 😴 💤 sleepy!
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Bruce

Doug

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If you have some doubts like I do, perhaps there is another solution for you to investigate. I have found that cinnamon powder works as well as the questionable commercial hormone products. I've used it to get very good results on many types of plant cuttings. My farm is full of successful plantings using cinnamon. Also, while I haven't tried it, I have been told by others interested in organic growing that raw honey does a good job of promoting rooting as well. Worth a try!

 

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