Chemical regulator suspends diuron to protect waterways

28 November 2011
Reference Code: 
2011/06

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has today suspended the use of diuron in high risk situations to protect aquatic ecosystems.

Diuron is used for the control of both broadleaf and grass weeds in agriculture. It is also used to control weeds and algae in and around water bodies. The suspension affects approximately two thirds of the 101 diuron products currently registered.

The suspension addresses a major concern, which is the risk of diuron runoff into waterways. This includes uses that have high application rates or are applied on tropical crops during the wet season.

APVMA Pesticides Program Manager, Dr Raj Bhula, said new information received is being assessed, including monitoring results from Reef Rescue initiatives.

"The APVMA is yet to make a final decision on diuron, further regulatory action is likely" Dr Bhula said.

The suspension – effective from 28 November 2011 to 31 March 2012 – prohibits diuron use:

  • on tropical crops (sugarcane, tea, bananas, pineapples, coffee and paw paw) during the defined no-spray period
  • in irrigation channels, drains, industrial and non-agricultural situations until 31 March 2012.

New use instructions are being issued for the suspension period, including additional restrictions designed to minimise run-off.

Possession and use in certain situations can continue provided diuron products carry the new instructions for use. Product registrants are requested to inform all parts of their supply chains to ensure that all products contain the new instructions prior to sale.

Full details about the diuron suspension and review are available at www.apvma.gov.au.

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