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Trifluralin

Digermin, Trigard, Treflan

SPRI Emission Reporting Threshold
0.001 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Water
0.001 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Waste Water
1.00 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Land
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, pure Trifluralin is orange crystals, which have no smell. The crystals evaporate fairly easily and melt at 49 degrees celsius. When heated, Trifluralin may break down, producing toxic and corrosive fumes. Trifluralin does not dissolve easily in water, but will dissolve well in many organic (carbon-containing) solvents.
What is it used for?
Trifluralin is used as a herbicide. It is applied to soils to control the growth of weeds amongst vegetable, fruit, cereal and nut crops.
Where does it come from?
The most significant releases of Trifluralin are likely as a result of its application as a herbicide. It may also be released during its production, transport and storage. There are not thought to be any natural sources of Trifluralin to the environment.
How might it affect the environment?
Trifluralin is toxic to aquatic organisms and some insects. Other wildlife and plants do not appear to be harmed by exposure to Trifluralin and are able to break it down safely. If guidelines for safe use are followed, no adverse effects on the environment should result. Contamination of groudwaters is unlikely as Trifluralin binds strongly to soils and sediments. It is broken down by micro-organisms in soils, but this can take 6 months or more. In the atmosphere or surface waters, Trifluralin is broken down more quickly by sunlight. It is not considered likely that Trifluralin pollution has any effects on the global environment.
How might exposure to it affect human health?
Trifluralin can enter the body either by the inhalation of air containing trifluralin, ingestion of contaminated water or food, or by dermal contact with trifluralin. There is no evidence as to the effects of effects of trifluralin on human health. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has designated trifluralin as being not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans. However, exposure to trifluralin at normal background levels is unlikely to have any adverse effect on human health.
What steps are being taken to limit the potential impacts?
Trifluralin is a UK "Red List" pollutant, signifying that its presence in the environment is of particular concern. Releases of Trifluralin are controlled through the UK Pollution, Prevention and Control (PPC) Regulations, the Food and Environmental Protection Act (FEPA 1985) and the Control of Pesticides Regulations (COPR 1986). Trifluralin is also listed as a priority hazardous substance for the European Water Framework Directive. At an international level, Trifluralin is listed as a substance for priority action under the OSPAR Convention which protect the marine environment of the north-east Atlantic Ocean.