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What Role Does a Surfactant Play in Herbicides?

Surfactants help the herbicide spray stick on to the weeds instead of falling onto the soil immediately.

answered by Michael Bartlett

Surfactants which are also called surface-acting agents are used in herbicide formulations

The surfactants' role is to reduce the surface tension of water. As herbicide sprays are mainly made of water, surfactants that are added help to target the weed instead of falling instantly onto the soil. Polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA) is the surfactant added in the Roundup weed-killer. This substance can also boost the cancer-causing properties of glyphosate, an active ingredient of Roundup because of which Roundup is considered to be more carcinogenic than Glyphosate alone.

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