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Is Preen Bad for the Environment?

Fertilizers and weed-preventer herbicides are commonly used in gardening, farming, and other agricultural purposes worldwide. But do we know what these weed killer products contain, and are they safe for our environment? Is preen bad for the environment?

What is preen garden weed preventer?

Removing Weed

Preen garden weed preventer is a pre-emergent herbicide for weed control. It can control broadleaf weeds such as dandelions, chickweeds, and clovers from sprouting. It also kills existing weeds. It should be used in garden beds where growing vegetables or other sensitive plants are planned. It’s an all-around weed killer.

Preen weed control uses chemicals called “halosulfuron” which prevents weed seeds and existing weeds from germinating and is absorbed by plant leaves. When the chemical comes in contact with the seed for 12 – 48 hours, it chemically alters the seed so an embryo can not develop.

It has been given a lower toxicity rating of 2 on a scale of 1 to 4 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Preen weed control also contains “Trifluralin, ” a broad-spectrum herbicide that can kill most existing weeds. It’s considered safe if used as suggested by label instructions and does not cause harm to humans or the environment when applied correctly.

The EPA considers Trifluralin a Group C, a possible human carcinogen. It has low acute toxicity, but it is classified as a Group C, which implies that it may cause cancer in humans.

Garden weed preventer products also contain carrier agents such as corn cob (corn gluten) and biodac (recycled newsprint) to help the herbicide stick to leaves where it will be absorbed. Corn gluten acts as an absorbent.

Garden weed preventers get into the air when sprayed and can irritate eyes, throats, and lungs. It will not be harmful if it gets on your skin so long as you don’t ingest it or get it in your mouth.

When using a garden weed preventer, the wind should not be blowing toward water bodies or non-target areas such as vegetable gardens when the product is applied.

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How do weed control herbicides and fertilizers go to different bodies of water?

Plucking Weeds

Weed control herbicides and fertilizers designed to eliminate weeds or kill plants will not benefit a lake or a river. These weed control herbicides and fertilizers can negatively affect the ecosystem of water bodies by killing off important aquatic vegetation.

In Nova Scotia, Canada, weeds have been found growing under the ice during winter. In North Carolina, where garden weed-preventer herbicides have been banned, a dense stand of cedar trees has been found. The cedars prevent other plants from growing and create an ideal habitat for small mammals.

In areas not used for agriculture or gardening, weeds can grow into thickets that block animal trails and provide shelter for mice and other small animals.

Plants that spread by spores can choke native plants, reduce the food supply, and affect animal habitats. In some coastal regions of North America, salt marsh cordgrass has been overgrown by invasive Spartina grasses, which prevent new cordgrass shoots from getting sunlight to photosynthesize and grow taller than the invading grasses.

The EPA has also determined that pesticides in water bodies harm aquatic life, fish, and insects. Insects are important food for several types of fish, preventing them from reaching adulthood.

The chemicals can affect the nervous system of fish, resulting in death by suffocation because they cannot take in oxygen through their gills.

Garden weed preventer pesticides that wash into water bodies via rain, snowmelt, or other natural processes can be broken down chemically by bacteria and sunlight but may still cause problems to the aquatic ecosystem.

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What are agricultural runoffs, and how do they affect the environment?

Farmer giving granulated fertilizer to young tomato plants
encierro / Adobe Stock

Agricultural runoffs are plant fertilizers, animal wastes, pesticides used to kill weeds, herbicides used to control weeds, sediment from erosion of farmlands, and sediments deposited by the runoff.

Most agricultural runoff consists of phosphorus and nitrogen in soils before heavy rainstorms or snowmelt. Runoff deposits synthetic fertilizers on the banks of lakes and rivers, which stimulate algae growth.

This can cause a green scum to form on the surface of the water where phosphorus levels are highest. Green slime can be toxic, especially in lakes treated with chemicals to keep phosphates from running into the sea.

Greenhouse gases also prevent oxygen from entering the lake, resulting in a dead zone. Dead zones can happen when algae die off and decompose in bottom waters, releasing bacteria that consume all the oxygen. Fish and other aquatic life suffocate unless they leave the area.

In some cases, nitrogen from runoff can cause acid rain by mixing with sulfur dioxide emitted from coal-fired power plants and turning it into nitric acid. If the rain is very acidic, it can cause soil erosion and damage to plants by burning their leaves, which can kill dormant seeds and prevent new growth from taking place.

In North Carolina, garden weed-preventer herbicides have been banned from being used on farms or near water bodies. This is because the change will allow cows to graze in pastures where they can’t reach crops, resulting in less manure runoff.

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What is the best natural weed preventer?

Plucked Weeds

The best natural weed preventer is not to use any weed-killer chemical compounds or insecticides in your garden. If you have too many weeds in your garden, remove them by hand and lightly water the plants.

Placing mulch around plants will help stop weed growth without killing natural vegetation and promote soil moisture.

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What are weed seeds? Are they still important to our environment?

Man inspecting lush green grass lawn
Dudarev Mikhail / Adobe Stock

Weed seeds are the plant’s way of propagating itself and making more plants take its place. There is a very large variety of weed seeds; most species will only germinate under certain conditions.

Most perennial weeds can be controlled by chemical herbicides, such as pulling out roots by hand or hoeing them down with a tool. Weed seeds are important in their natural habitat because they provide food for animals directly and indirectly.

Weed seeds have several predators, one being birds that eat weed seeds and other animal feed types. Some animals will also adapt to eating weeds by burying them underground or bringing them into their nests to protect them from the elements and predators.

Humans also play a role in weed seed survival because we sometimes adapt to eating certain weeds after they become part of our diet. Weeds such as lamb’s quarters, pigweed, and purslane contain several vitamins that can stop or slow down aging within cells, making humans healthier for longer periods.

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It can be bad for the environment. Preen garden weed preventer contains some ingredients commonly endocrine disruptors and carcinogens, such as Trifluralin, a class C possible carcinogen.

Regarding our environment, it is clear that agricultural runoffs from weed preventer products, weed killer herbicides, lawn weed control products, and fertilizers get washed off and go to different local streams and rivers, causing harm to aquatic life.

Instead of using chemicals like weed killers, we can just pull weeds as an exercise; in this way, we stay healthy and our environment.


Is Natural Preen safe?

Natural Preen is a bird repellent that keeps birds away from gardens and other outdoor areas. It is made from all-natural ingredients and is generally considered safe for use around people and pets. It is important to follow the instructions carefully and avoid direct contact with the product to ensure safety.

Is Preen chemical-free?

No, Preen is not chemical-free. Preen is a brand of garden weed preventer that contains chemicals such as dithiopyr, pendimethalin, and trifluralin. These chemicals are designed to prevent weed growth in garden beds and lawns.

What are the negative effects of Preen?

Preen is a brand of weed killer that contains the chemical compound trifluralin. The negative effects of Preen can include skin and eye irritation if it comes into contact with these areas, as well as potential harm to pets or other animals if ingested. Additionally, the use of Preen may contribute to the development of herbicide-resistant weeds over time.

Why not use Preen?

Is Preen safe to use? Preen is a popular brand of herbicide used to prevent weed growth in gardens and lawns. However, it contains chemicals that can be harmful to plants, animals, and humans, and can also contribute to environmental pollution. Therefore, it is important to consider alternative, safer methods of weed control.

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