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CAS Number: 330-54-1
Synonyms: Crisuron, Diater, Direx, Karmex, N-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-N,N-dimethyl urea, Unidron
Contaminant Type: Chemical

Diuron, a substituted phenylurea herbicide belonging to the family of phenylamides, is registered for pre- and early post emergent control of broad leaf and annual grassy weeds for agricultural and nonagricultural uses [791]. 

Concerns regarding diuron have been frequently reported worldwide. For example, in France, diuron was found to be one of the most used products in urbanized catchments and is also commonly found as a contaminant. In Germany, recurring detection of diuron residues in drinking water supplies has led to prohibtion of diuron usage in confined areas where excess water can flow into drainnage pipes and sewer. Around the Unites States, diuron is notably used as an algicide and herbicide. In California, diuron is one of the most heavily used hebicides with over 1.4 million pounds applied statewide in 2004; almost 50% of the total usage was applied to rights-of-way, e.g., along power lines and roadways. Nearly 95% of diuron in California is applied from November through March, with a peak in December. Nearly all detections of diuron especially those of high concentrations, ocurrred between December and March. The concentration observed in surface and ground water supplies in California were usually above 1 μg/l, which is the concentration of acute toxicity for algae, and some observations exceeded 10 μg/l [791]. 

Diuron is classified as a "known/likely" human carcinogen and is on the USEPA's "3rd Contaminant Candidate List" [620]. Diuron is considering as a highly toxic, persistent priority substance by the European Union (EU) and has a half-life of 300 days when applied to the soil [782].

Date of Literature Search: June 2009

620 USEPA Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water; 2008; Contaminant Candidate List 3 (CCL3); USEPA Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water; http://www/epa.gov/OGWDW/ccl/ccl3.html
782 Catalkaya, E. and Kargi, F.; 2008; Advanced oxidation of diuron by photo-fenton treatment as a function of operating parameters; Env. Eng.; 134:12:1006
791 Chen, W. and Young, T.; 2008; NDMA formation during chlorination and chloramination of aqueous diuron solutions; Environ. Sci. Technol.; 42:4:1072