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TRADE OR OTHER NAMES: Terbutryn is also called terbutryne. Trade names include Prebane, Igran, Shortstop,
Clarosan, GS 14260, Plantonit, Gesaprim Combi (with Atrazine 1:1), Senate (with trietazine), and Igrater 50WP (with
REGULATORY STATUS: Terbutryn is a General Use Pesticide (GUP). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has
proposed the revocation of all tolerances for residues of terbutryn in or on barley, sorghum, and wheat. They do not plan to
recommend action levels to replace the tolerances (Federal Register 59(138):37019). Many terbutryn product registrations
have been cancelled. The EPA has classified it as Toxicity Class III-slightly toxic. Products containing terbutryn bear the
Signal Word "Caution".
CHEMICAL CLASS: triazine
INTRODUCTION: Terbutryn is a selective herbicide and a triazine compound. It is absorbed by the roots and foliage and
acts as an inhibitor of photosynthesis. Terbutryn is a preemergent and postemergent control agent for most grasses and
many annual broadleaf weeds in winter wheat, winter barley, sorghum, sugarcane, sunflowers, peas, and potatoes (58). It is
also used as an aquatic herbicide for control of submerged and free-floating weeds and algae in water courses, reservoirs,
and fish ponds (50). Terbutryn is available as a wettable powder or a soluble concentrate (49, 58).
- Acute Toxicity: Terbutryn is slightly toxic. It affects the central nervous system in animals leading to incoordination,
convulsions, or labored breathing (61). At extremely high dosages, the animals showed swelling and fluid in the lungs
and central nervous system (61). The dose which kills half of the test animals, the LD50, is 2450-2500 mg/kg for rats and
3884 mg/kg for mice (59, 42). The LD50 for dermal exposure is greater than 2,000 mg/kg for rabbits (49, 60).The
concentration in air which kills half of the test animals by inhalation, the LC50 (4 hours), is greater than 8 mg of an 80%
formulation per liter of air for rats (50). Terbutryn is not a skin sensitizer (60).
- Chronic Toxicity: No Information Available.
- Reproductive Effects: A three generation reproduction study of rats showed that doses of 150 mg/kg/day of terbutryn
caused decreased fertility indices in both male and female rats. (60, 42).
- Teratogenic Effects: Above doses of 500 mg/kg/day, pregnant rats produced offspring with reduced weight and
reduced bone formation in the front and rear paws. Pregnant rabbits exposed to doses of 75 mg/kg/day also had offspring
with reduced bone formation (58).
- Mutagenic Effects: In tests of terbutryn, no mutagenic effects were observed (60).
- Carcinogenic Effects: In a two-year feeding study of rats, doses of 150 mg/kg of terbutryn caused cancerous tumor
growth. However, there is no evidence of carcinogenicity in mice. Terbutryn has been classified as a possible human
carcinogen by the U.S. EPA (60).
- Organ Toxicity: Long-term feeding at high doses of terbutryn can cause growth retardation, kidney damage, liver
damage and a decreased number of white blood cells (61, 42).
- Fate in Humans and Animals: When given orally to mammals, 73 to 85% of a terbutryn dose is eliminated in
metabolized form in the feces within 24 hours (50).
- Effects on Birds: Terbutryn is only slightly toxic to birds. The LC50 (8-day dietary) is greater than 20,000 mg/kg for
bobwhite quail and pheasant and greater than 4640 mg/kg for mallard ducks (50, 60).
- Effects on Aquatic Organisms: Terbutryn is moderately toxic to fish (49). However, except when applied directly to 6
inches of water, residues have been calculated to be insignificant even to the most sensitive aquatic animal species. The
concentration which is lethal to fish in water, the LC50 (96 hours), is 3 mg/kg for rainbow trout and 4 mg/kg for bluegill
sunfish, carp, and perch (50).
- Effects on Other Animals (Nontarget species): Terbutryn is not toxic to bees (50). It is practically non-toxic to upland
game birds (49).
- Breakdown of Chemical in Soil and Groundwater: Terbutryn is readily adsorbed in soils with high organic or clay
content (49). The half-life in soil is 14-28 days (50). Depending on the application rate, the residual activity of terbutryn
in soil is 3 to10 weeks. It is slightly mobile to immobile in soils. Data indicate that it will not leach in agricultural soils.
However, its major breakdown product, hydroxy terbutryn, is more mobile and persistent and has potential to leach to
- Breakdown of Chemical in Water: In water, terbutryn is not volatile. It will adsorb to sediment and suspended
particulate matter. Half-lives of 180-240 days have been reported for degradation of terbutryn in pond and river
sediment. It may be subject to very slow hydrolysis and biodegradation in water (58).
- Breakdown of Chemical in Vegetation: Terbutryn interferes with carbon dioxide assimilation and sugar formation in
plants. It is degraded to a breakdown product which is quite stable (50). Further degradation in plants is slow (60).
PHYSICAL PROPERTIES AND GUIDELINES
It is stable to dilute aqueous alkaline and acidic solutions. It is hydrolyzed in strong acid or basic solutions. It is decomposed
by ultraviolet irradiation. Terbutryn is stable for about three years at room temperature when dry (60). It is not corrosive
- Appearance: Terbutryn is a white or colorless crystalline powder with no distinct odor.
- Chemical Name: 2-(tert-butylamino)-4-(ethylamino)-6-(methylthio)-s-triazine
- CAS Number: 886-50-0
- Molecular Weight: 241.4
- Water Solubility: 25 mg/l at 20 degrees C (58)
- Solubility in Other Solvents: Readily soluble in isopropanol, xylene, dioxane, chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, and
- Melting Point: 104-105 degrees C (58)
- Vapor Pressure: 0.225 mPa (25 degrees C)
- Partition Coefficient: 3070 (50)
- Adsorption Coefficient: Not Available
- ADI: 0.01 mg/kg (60)
- MCL: Not Available
- RfD: 1 x 10 to the minus 3 mg/kg/day (62)
- PEL: Not Available
- HA: Not Available
- TLV: Not Available
Ciba Geigy Agricultural Division
P.O. Box 18300
Greensboro, NC 27419-8300
References for the information in this PIP can be found in Reference List Number 8
DISCLAIMER: The information in this profile does not in any way replace or supersede the information on the pesticide
product label/ing or other regulatory requirements. Please refer to the pesticide product label/ing.