Urea,N'-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-N,N-dimethyl- (Diuron)

CAS Registry Number 330-54-1

What is it?

  • Urea, N'-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-N,N-dimethyl-, also known as diuron, is an industrial chemical.

How is it used?

  • The pesticidal uses of diuron are regulated by Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency. Diuron, a pesticide active ingredient, is registered in Canada for use on grapes and asparagus, and for non-crop areas.
  • Diuron is also present in non-pesticidal products, which are considered to be industrial in nature, and include uses as hardening and curing agents in epoxy resins and adhesives.
  • Diuron is not manufactured in Canada, but it is imported into Canada.

Why did the Government of Canada assess it?

  • Prior to the assessment, diuron was identified as a potential concern for human health based on its classification by an international organization as a substance which was found to cause cancer in laboratory animals, and based on a moderate potential for exposure (not including workplace exposures) to the general population of Canada.
  • It was also identified as a potential concern to the environment based on information regarding persistence and potential to cause harm to organisms.
  • The pesticidal uses of diuron were recently re-evaluated by Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency and found to be acceptable for continued registration in Canada.
  • The current screening assessment is focussed solely on the non-pesticidal uses of diuron.

How are Canadians exposed to it?

  • Exposure of the general population to non-pesticidal uses of diuron is expected to be low since it is primarily used in industrial settings.

How is it released to the environment?

  • Environmental releases of diuron to water and soils are mainly expected to occur through pesticidal uses of this substance. However, small quantities of diuron may also be released to water through industrial processing activities.

What are the results of the assessment?

  • The Government of Canada has conducted a science-based evaluation of diuron, called a screening assessment.
  • Screening assessments address potential for harm to the general population (not including workplace exposures) and the environment.
  • For non-pesticidal uses, the Government of Canada has concluded that diuron is not harmful to the health of the general population at current levels of exposure.
  • Diuron has the potential to remain in the environment for a long time, but is not expected to accumulate in or cause harm to organisms.
  • Additionally, the quantities of diuron that may be released to the environment are below the levels expected to cause harm to organisms; therefore, the Government of Canada has also concluded that diuron is not entering the environment in a quantity or under conditions that constitute a danger to the environment.

What is the Government of Canada doing?

  • Based on the conclusion of the final screening assessment, the Government of Canada proposes that no further action be taken on diuron.
  • The final screening assessment report was published on January 15, 2011.

What can Canadians do?

  • The health risks associated with a chemical depend on the hazard (its potential to cause health effects) and the dose (the amount of chemical to which you are exposed). Diuron is not a concern for the environment or human health at current levels of exposure.
  • As a general precaution, Canadians are reminded to carefully follow safety warnings and directions when using any product.
  • Canadians who handle diuron in the workplace should consult with their occupational health and safety representative about safe handling practices, applicable laws and requirements under the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).
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