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Definition of trifluralin:
Trifluralin is a herbicide used to control a wide spectrum of annual grasses and broadleaf weeds. It's mainly used on oilseed rape and sunflowers and, to a lesser extent, cotton and cereals[1].
This is the common definition for trifluralin, other definitions can be discussed in the article



Approximately 3200 tonnes of trifluralin are annually used in the EU. Trifluralin is presently authorised for use in Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom[1].

Significant amounts may evaporate into the air from the agricultural use (estimated 64 t/y for total Europe), where it will be rapidly degraded. Trifluralin has a high affinity towards organic matter and will therefore be mostly found in sediment and bound to suspended particles. Because of this high affinity to sediment, it's considered unlikely that large amounts of trifluralin enter the marine environment through run off from application areas. Trifluralin is rather unstable in water. The half-life in a water sediment system is less than 15 days.

Trifluralin bioacumulates in organisms and is thought to biomagnify through food chains.

It is also a very toxic substance, concentrations above 1 µg/l can interfere with the life cycle of some fish species, while concentrations above 12 µg/l are lethal for a few algae species. Concentrations of trifluralin in both the North Sea and the Baltic Sea are bellow 0,06 ng/l. Current concentrations also don't pose a threat for high trophic sea birds or marine mammals[1].

Environmental standards and legislation

Included in the OSPAR list of substances of priority action

Included in the water framework list of priority substances

See also

Trifluralin on the ED North Database

OSPAR background document on trifluralin


The main author of this article is Daphnis De Pooter
Please note that others may also have edited the contents of this article.

Citation: Daphnis De Pooter (2020): Trifluralin. Available from [accessed on 18-06-2024]