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Definition of isoproturon:
Isoproturon is a selective, systemic herbicide used in the control of annual grasses and broad-leaved weeds in cereals[1]. Pure isoproturon occurs as colourless crystals which melt at 158°C. It's slightly soluble in water and polar organic solvents[2].
This is the common definition for isoproturon, other definitions can be discussed in the article



Isoproturon mainly enters the environment during its application as an agricultural herbicide, but releases may also occur during manufacture, transportation and storage[2]. Isoproturon has a low tendency to adsorb to soils and is therefore quite able to enter in water bodies despite its rather low water solubility (70,2 mg/l). Its half-life in water is 30 days, in soils 40 days[3].

Due to its low affinity for organic matter it is not expected to have a high tendency towards bioaccumulation or biomagnification. Significant bioaccumulation might however occur in certain species[4].

Isoproturon is shown to be very toxic for algae and oysters which experience acute toxicity at concentrations above 13 µg/l and 370 µg/l respectively. Long term exposure to concentrations above 1 mg/l might affect the growth of fishes, acute toxicity occurs at concentrations above 18 mg/l[5].

In fresh water, concentrations of 0,125 µg/l have been recorded[3].

Environmental standards and legislation

Included in the water framework list of priority substances


  1. WHO 2003 chemical fact sheet
  2. 2,0 2,1 August 18 2009
  3. 3,0 3,1 WHO 2003 Background document for development of WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality
  4. MERLIN Gerard, VUILLOD Maryline, LISSOLO Thierry, CLEMENT Bernard 2002 Fate and bioaccumulation of isoproturon in outdoor aquatic microcosms; Environmental toxicology and chemistry
  5. Review report for the active substance isoproturon, adopted December 7 2001