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Bensulide is an organophosphateacetylcholinesterase inhibitor used as an herbicide. It functions by inhibiting cell division in meristematic root tissues and seedling growth by conjugation of acetyl co-enzyme.1 Generally speaking, Bensulide is used for Cole crops, cucurbits, leafy vegetables, legumes, opinion and garlic.2 The EPA classifies Bensulide as a General Use Pesticide.3
Bensulide generally is applied to bare soil, before crops are planted. It is incorporated 1 to 2 inches deep in order for the control of grasses and broadleaf weeds in agricultural crops, residential grass lawns, and golf courses.1
Proturk Goosegrass and Crabgrass Control (EPA Reg. No. 00053800164) and Anderson's Goose and Crabgrass Control (EPA Reg. No. 00919800176) both have Bensulide as one of their active incredients, along with oxadiazon at a concentration of 5.25% and 1.31% respectively.4 Bensulide products may be used outdoors by homeowners on lawns and ornamentals, and by professional lawn care operators. Bensulide may be used on turf (primarily golf course greens and tees), on ornamentals, and for greenhouse and outdoor uses in commercial nurseries. 550,000 pounds of active incredient are used per year, a relatively low value 3
There are a few minor risks that are involved with herbicides that include Bensulide. Generally, indirect exposure to it is non-lethal. Dietary exposures from eating food crops treated with bensulide are below the level of concern for the entire U.S. population, including infants and children. Drinking water is not a significant source of exposure.3
Risks are of concern for homeowners who apply bensulide, and for children entering turf areas treated with bensulide if label directions are not followed properly. EPA also has risk concerns for workers who mix, load, and/or apply bensulide to agricultural sites, golf courses, and home lawns. Chronic risks are of concern for birds and mammals; risks are posed to some aquatic species.3
^ abAntonious G. Mobility and half-life of bensulide in agricultural soil. Journal Of Environmental Science & Health, Part B -- Pesticides, Food Contaminants, & Agricultural Wastes. January 2010;45(1):1-10., Ipswich, MA. Accessed October 9, 2012.
^3. Coolong, T.; Jones, T.; Masabni J.; Strang, J. Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers, Bessin R., Ed.; University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, 2009, pp 135, ID-36