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Simazine

Gestatop, Chemicrop

SPRI Emission Reporting Threshold
10.0 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Air
0.01 Kg/yr Pollutant Emissions to Water
0.01 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, Simazine is a white crystalline powder. When mixed with air, its dusts can be explosive. When heated, Simazine breaks down to give toxic fumes. It melts at 225 degrees celsius. Simazine is not very soluble in water, but dissolves well in organic (carbon-containing) solvents.
What is it used for?
Simazine has been used as a herbicide to control weeds and grasses amongst cereal crops, fruit trees and bushes and on stone or concrete surfaces around buildings, in parks and around railway lines. Its use in the UK has been phased out in recent years and has been banned for non-agricultural purposes since 1993.
Where does it come from?
The most significant releases of Simazine may 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 Simazine to the environment.
How might it affect the environment?
At high levels, Simazine is classed as toxic to wildlife, particularly aquatic organisms. Simazine applied to soils or hard surfaces may run off into water bodies. Some can also seep into groundwaters, although this is limited by its relatively low solubility in water. Simazine in the atmosphere is usually deposited onto soils or water bodies - and that which remains is broken down within a matter of hours. Simazine can persist in soils and waters for a considerable time and it has been found far from its point of release. For this reason, Simazine pollution is of concern at a global as well as local level.
How might exposure to it affect human health?
SIMAZINE Simazine can enter the body either by inhalation of air containing simazine, ingestion of contaminated water, or by dermal contact with simazine. Inhalation of air containing elevated levels of simazine may cause symptoms including weight loss and changes in blood. Exposure to simazine over a long period of time may cause damage to the liver, thyroid and testes. Ingestion of simazine, may lead to effects similar to those for inhalation. Dermal contact with simazine may cause skin rashes and dermatitis. Exposure to simazine may cause symptoms similar to those following exposure to other triazine herbicides such as difficulty walking, tremors, convulsions, pinpoint pupils, slowed respiration and a blue colour to the skin. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has designated simazine as being not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans. However, exposure to simazine 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 Simazine 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 Regulations (SI 1997/2560). Simazine has been banned for non-agricultural use in the UK since 1993. European Directives regulating levels of Simazine include that concerned with pollution of the aquatic environment (76/464/EEC) and it is listed as a priority substance in the Water Framework Directive. At an international level, Simazine is regulated through the OSPAR and Helsinki Conventions which aim to protect the marine environments of the north-east Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea respectively.