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Bromacil is an herbicide used for brush control on non-cropland areas. It is especially useful against perennial grasses. It is also used for selective weed control in pineapple and citrus crops. It works by interfering with photosynthesis, the process by which plants use sunlight to produce energy. Bromacil is available in granular, liquid, water soluble liquid, and wettable powder formulations.
Bromacil is one of a group of compounds called substituted uracils. These materials are broad spectrum herbicides used for nonselective weed and brush control on non-cropland, as well as for selective weed control on a limited number of crops, such as citrus fruit and pineapple. The herbicide is preferably sprayed or spread dry on the soil surface just before, or during, a period of active weed growth.
Acute toxicity: Liquid formulations of Bromacil are moderately toxic, while dry formulations are practically non-toxic. The herbicide is irritating to the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract. When 100 mg/kg of the herbicide was fed to dogs, it caused vomiting, watering of the mouth, muscular weakness, excitability, diarrhea, and dilation of the pupils. Rats that were fed single doses of Bromacil experienced initial weight loss, paleness, exhaustion, and rapid breathing. Within 4 hours of being given 250 mg/kg, sheep became bloated and walked with stilted gaits. Bromacil caused mild dermal irritation when it was applied to the skin of guinea pigs. The LD50 is greater than 5000 mg/kg in rabbits whose skin is exposed. When Bromacil was administered to the eyes of rabbits, there was irritation in the conjunctiva (the mucous membrane lining of the eye), but there was no injury to the cornea. The inhalation LC50 (4-hour) is greater than 4.8 mg/L air for rats. The oral LD50 for Bromacil in rats is 5200 mg/kg, and in mice is 3040 mg/kg.
Chronic toxicity: Enlarged livers were revealed in autopsies on rats that died after 5 days of repeated doses of Bromacil at 1500 mg/kg/day. Sheep that died after being given 250 mg/kg/day of Bromacil on 4 successive days showed the following: inflammation of the mucous membrane that lines the stomach and intestines, congestion and enlargement of the liver, weakened appearance of the adrenal glands, bleeding of the heart, and swollen, bleeding lymph nodes. Consumption of Bromacil at high levels over a long period of time has been shown to cause damage to the testes, liver, and thyroid of laboratory animals. In another study, female rats fed 62.5 mg/kg/day for 2 years, the highest dose level, exhibited decreased weight gain. No other toxic effects were observed. No evidence of toxicity was detected in dogs fed up to 31.2 mg/kg/day for 2 years. In an 18-month study in which mice were given dietary doses of 12.5, 62.5, or 250 mg/kg/day, changes in the liver and testes were observed at the 62.5 mg/kg/day dosage. Chickens given 500 mg/kg/day Bromacil did show a decrease in weight gain.
Reproductive effects: Bromacil did not affect the reproduction of rats fed 12.5 mg/kg/day for three generations. This suggests that bromocil does not cause reproductive effects.
Environmental Fate:
  • Breakdown in soil and groundwater: Bromacil binds, or adsorbs, only slightly to soil particles, is soluble in water, and is moderately to highly persistent in soil. Its half-life is about 60 days, but may be as much as 8 months under some conditions. Soil persistence is correlated to the organic content of the soil. At 18 months after 22.4 kg of Bromacil were sprayed on abandoned field sites, residues of the herbicide were detectable, in decreasing amounts, in loamy sand, silt loam, silty clay loam, and light silty clay loam soils. Organic matter content, cation exchange capacity, total nitrogen, and soluble salt concentrations were significantly correlated with residue persistence. Bromacil is expected to leach quite readily through the soil and contaminate groundwater. The amount of leaching is dependent on the soil type and the amount of rainfall or irrigation water. The potential for Bromacil to leach and contaminate groundwater is greatest in sandy soils. In normal soils, it can be expected to leach to a depth of 2 to 3 feet. Tests show that at increased temperatures and long exposures to sunlight, there is very little loss of Bromacil from dry soil. It does not readily volatilize, nor does it break down in sunlight. Laboratory studies show that 5 to 30% of Bromacil is lost 6 to 9 weeks after application to the soil, as carbon dioxide.
  • Breakdown in water: Bromacil is estimated to have a 2-month half-life in clean river water, which is low in sediment.
  • Breakdown in vegetation: In plants, Bromacil is taken up rapidly by the roots and slightly absorbed through the leaves. When it is applied at 10 ppm, some types of algae show slowed growth, but most strains are unaffected. Improper application of Bromacil will destroy shade trees and other desirable vegetation.


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