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Netherlands - Final Regulatory Action
Alachlor CAS number:
Date circular:

Chemical name: Acetamide, 2-chloro-N-(2,6-diethylphenyl)-N-(methoxymethyl)-

Final regulatory action has been taken for the category: Pesticide

Final regulatory action: The chemical is Banned

Use or uses prohibited by the final regulatory action:

All applications are prohibited

Pesticide use or uses that remain allowed:


The final regulatory action was based on a risk or hazard evaluation: Yes

Summary of the final regulatory action:

It is prohibited to sell, stock, store or use alachlor as a pesticide. The Pesticide Authorisation Board decided to withdraw all applications of alachlor from 1.1.1987. In 1989, a request for re-authorisation of alachlor was submitted. This request is still under discussion.

The reasons for the final regulatory action were relevant to:

Summary of known hazards and risks to human health:

In 1987, the Pesticide Authorisation Board (CTB) decided to withdraw all applications of alachlor on the basis of carcinogenic properties attributed to alachlor and /or its metabolites. Two chronic studies in rats clearly showed that alachlor is carcinogenic to rats. It is noted that there has been discussion whether the nasal tumors in rats are relevant for humans. It was postulated that the nasal tumors in rats were caused by the metabolite 2,6-diethylalanine, which is specific to the rat, and is not formed in mice and apes and probably also not in humans. In view of the serious effects, it was however decided to prohibit alachlor until furhter evidence was submitted to prove that the nasal tumours were indeed rat-specific (CTB, 1986).
In view of the supposed carcinogenic effects, leaching to groundwater would be an unacceptable risk to the general population. In the Netherlands, groundwater must remain free from pesticides (precaution principle). Leaching of alachlor and/or its metabolites from soil to groundwater amounts to 40% of the applied dose. In soils containing a very low organic carbon amount (<3%), leaching can be even higher (up to 92%). Metabolites include 2,6-dethy-N- methoxymethyl-acetanilide and 2,6-diethyl-N-methoxymethyl-2-methyl-sulfonyl-acetanilide (CvF, 1980).

Expected effect of the final regulatory action in relation to human health:

Prevention of carcinogenic effects and of contamination of drinking water derived from groundwater. The final regulatory action led to a complete risk reduction.

Date of entry into force of the final regulatory action: 01/01/1987