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Mecoprop

MCPP, CMPP, Methoxone, Rankotex, Kilprop

SPRI Emission Reporting Threshold
1.00 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Water
1.00 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Waste Water
Disclaimer
This sheet is a generic summary, designed to give the reader a basic level of background information about the substance in question. Great care has been taken to represent as effectively and correctly as possible the broad range of (not necessarily consistent) information which is available from a variety of sources. The reader must accept therefore that this sheet has no legal status and cannot be relied upon in any legal proceedings. SEPA disclaims any responsibility or liability whatsoever for errors and omissions in this sheet.
What is it?
Under normal conditions, Mecoprop is found as white or light brown crystals, with no smell. It actually exists in two forms with different properties. What is usually referred to as "Mecoprop" is the "Mecoprop-p" form, which is more common and is produced commercially. Mecoprop is stable and solutions of its salts can be stored for long periods of time. Solid Mecoprop melts at around 94 degrees celsius. Mecoprop dissolves easily in water to give an acidic solution. It also dissolves well in some organic (carbon-containing) solvents.
What is it used for?
Mecoprop is a chlorophenoxy herbicide. It is used as a selective herbicide to control weeds amongst cereal crops and fruit trees.
Where does it come from?
The most significant releases of Mecoprop will occur during its application as a herbicide. Releases may also occur during its manufacture, transport and storage. There are not thought to be any natural sources of Mecoprop to the environment.
How might it affect the environment?
Mecoprop is classified as having low toxicity to aquatic life and other forms of wildlife. Guidelines for its use however advise avoiding contamination of surface waters as a precaution. Because Mecoprop does not bind to soil particles and is very soluble in water, it can seep into groundwaters. Mecoprop is not persistent in the environment and will usually be broken down in soils or water within a few months. It is not considered likely that Mecoprop pollution has any effects on the global environment.
How might exposure to it affect human health?
Mecoprop can enter the body either by inhalation of air containing mecoprop, ingestion of contaminated food or water, or by dermal contact with mecoprop. Inhalation of air containing mecoprop may cause a cough, nausea, vertigo, headache and numbness and tingling sensations. Exposure to high levels can cause spasms, weakness, polyneuritis (inflammation of the nerves) and unconsciousness. Ingestion of mecoprop may cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and effects similar to those for inhalation. Dermal contact with mecoprop can cause skin irritation. Contact with the eyes can cause irritation. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has designated mecoprop as a possible carcinogen. However, exposure to mecoprop at normal background levels is unlikely to have any adverse effect on human health.
What steps are being taken to limit the potential impacts?
Releases of Mecoprop are controlled through the UK Pollution, Prevention and Control (PPC) Regulations, the Food and Environmental Protection Act (FEPA 1985), the Control of Pesticides Regulations (COPR 1986) and the UK Surface Waters (Dangerous Substances) Regulations (SI 1997/2560). European Directives regulating levels of Mecoprop include that concerned with pollution of the aquatic environment (76/464/EEC).