Metsulfuron methyl — toxicity, side effects, diseases and environmental impacts

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 by

Metsulfuron methyl is a residual sulfonylurea compound that is used as a selective herbicide that works by inhibiting the biosynthesis of branched amino acids in sensitive plants. To do this, it competitively binds to the enzyme system, which catalyzes the formation of these amino acids, the acetolactate synthase (ALS). It hinders the division of cells in the shoots and roots of the target plant, leading to the death of the plants.

This herbicide is used in cereals for the control of broad-leafed weeds, trees and bush, and some annual grasses. In addition, it can be used as a pesticide transformation product. Metsulfuron methyl can be used alone or can be combined with other sulfonylureas, such as thifensulfuron-methyl. Moreover, metsulfuron methyl is classified by the Environmental Protection Agency in acute Toxicity Category III, which means that the label on commercial products should have the signal word “Caution.” Metsulfuron methyl has the molecular formula of C14H15N5O6S.

List of known side effects

There are only a few known side effects of metsulfuron methyl. The herbicide may cause irritation in the eyes as well as in the skin, based on animal studies The chemical may also be slightly toxic to birds, aquatic environment, and honey bees.

Body systems affected by metsulfuron methyl

The body systems that can be adversely affected by metsulfuron methyl include the integumentary and ocular systems.

Items that can contain metsulfuron methyl

Metsulfuron methyl is the active ingredient in herbicide products that are used to control broad-leaved weeds, particularly in spring and winter cereals, trees, bush, and some annual grasses. Some of the brand names that contain metsulfuron methyl are Ally Express, Ally Max, Ally 20 SG, Cimarron, Concert, Finish, Minx PX, Pike, Gropper, Escort XP, and Metsulfuron Methyl 60 DF.

How to avoid metsulfuron methyl

There are different ways to reduce or avoid exposure to metsulfuron methyl when handling it. One of these is to make sure that the work environment is clean and there is minimal dusts. For eye protection, it is advised to wear suitable protective glasses or goggles. To avoid skin contact, it is essential to wear suitable elbow-length gloves. Moreover, when dusts are likely to build up in the area where the chemical is being used, it is advisable to wear a suitable dust mask.

Where to learn more

Summary

Metsulfuron methyl, a residual sulfonylurea compound, is used as a selective herbicide. It works by stopping the division of cells in the shoots and roots of the target, which in turn will result to the death of the plants. It is used in cereals for the control of broad-leafed weeds, trees and bush, and some annual grasses. Moreover, it can be used as a pesticide transformation product.

Metsulfuron methyl may cause irritation in the eyes and skin.

Metsulfuron methyl may negatively affect the integumentary and ocular systems.

Metsulfuron methyl is slightly toxic to birds, aquatic organisms, and honey bees.

Sources include:

PMEP.CCE.Cornell.edu

FAO.org

WSDOT.WA.gov

Sitem.Herts.AC.uk

PubChem.NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov

Herbiguide.com.au



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