Diuron is used as a herbicide on a variety of both crop and non-crop areas. It is also used as a mildewcide in paints and stains, and as an algaecide in commercial fish production.
In the USA diuron has been used since 1967. Durion is mainly used on citrus, berries, asparagus and pineapple. Right-of-way applications (e.g., on rail road tracks) form the greatest non-agricultural use of diuron, with approximately 1 million kilograms applied annually.
In water durion has a low tendency to adsorb to particles and organic matter, dispite its relatively low water solubility of 42 mg/l. It's a stable molecule in terrestrial systems but can be biodegraded by micro-organisms. It is expected to be much less stable in aquatic systems, with a half-life of 30 days (according to lab experiments). Although it has a low potential towards bioaccumulation, it probably doesn't bioaccumulate or biomagnify in wild aquatic populations.
It has a low toxicity for mammals, as doses above 3,4 g per kg body weight are needed to induce acute toxicity. Some fish and marine invertebrate species experience acute toxic effects at diuron concentrations above 4,3 mg/l and 1 mg/l respectively. Algae are most vulnerable to the herbicide, it can be toxic for some algae species at concentrations of only 5 µg/l.
Environmental standards and legislation
- EPA US 2003 Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for Diuron
- Washington State Department of Transportation February 2006 Diuron Roadside Vegetation Management Herbicide Fact Sheet
- www.extoxnet.orst.edu august 17 2009
- www.pesticideinfo.org august 17 2009
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