Ametryn is an herbicide used in farming to control broad-leaf and grassy weeds on corn, popcorn, pineapple and sugarcane crops. It was first registered for use in the early 1960's on sugarcane fields, but is now mostly used on corn fields. But while corn is the primary use, only about 1% of cornfields in the U.S. use the chemical, and nearly all pineapple crops are treated with it.
According to the US Government, the risk of ground or surface water contamination is low, and most risks of human exposure is through handling the herbicide in work environments. With this said, multiple studies found that the LD50 (Lethal Dose 50%) is the dose of ametryn which is lethal to half of the test animals that ingest it. The oral LD50 of ametryn is 508 mg/kg for rats and 945 mg/kg for mice. The LC50 for rats that inhale ametryn for four hours is greater than 2.2 mg/l of air. The dermal LD50 is greater than 3,100 mg/kg for rats and 8,160 mg/kg for rabbits. Acute eye exposure in rabbits causes a temporary irritation.
Health Effects of Ametryn
Ametryn is moderately irritating to the eyes, skin and respiratory system, and slightly toxic, with acute exposure to large amounts causing symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and increased salivation.
In animal studies of long term exposure, ametryn was shown to have effects on the liver and caused decreases in weight gain. Carcinogenic effects were seen in animals exposed to excessive amounts.