Jun. 1, 2017
The government of Costa Rica will ban the use of the herbicide bromacil throughout the country to avoid groundwater contamination, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) reported in a statement.
The decision was made due to the high risk that the chemical will contaminate groundwater. Bromacil, a possible human carcinogen, is used on many pineapple farms in Costa Rica.
In the coming days, the Ministry will issue a regulation prohibiting the importation of bromacil “and will give a period of six months for it to stop being applied in fields while the pineapple producers make the transition towards other measures to combat weeds,” continued the MAG’s statement.
“Given the extensive pineapple acreage in Costa Rica where bromacil is applied, the use of this herbicide has a high probability of contaminating aquifers and affecting human populations,” the statement said.
Bromacil is a herbicide used for weed control and is especially effective against perennial weeds. It is also used for the selective elimination of weeds in pineapple and citrus crops, according to the United Nations Environment Program.
Bromacil was first registered as a pesticide in the U.S. in 1961. It is mainly used in the U.S. for brush control and non-cropland areas, according to Wikipedia. It works by interfering with photosynthesis by entering the plant through the root zone and moving throughout the plant.
Also according to Wikipedia “… bromacil is a possible human carcinogen and systemic toxicity may result from intermediate exposure (one week to several months)…”