Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

250 Groups Call on EPA to Ban Endocrine-Disrupting Atrazine

Health + Wellness

Center for Biological Diversity

A diverse coalition of more than 250 conservation, public-health and sustainable farming groups sent a letter today asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban atrazine, a toxic pesticide that threatens wildlife and people across the country.

The Center for Biological Diversity also submitted comments today from more than 38,000 people asking the EPA to immediately stop use of this endocrine-disrupting poison in the U.S.

“We need to get this dangerous pesticide out of our water supply before it does any more damage,” said Collette Adkins Giese, a Center for Biological Diversity biologist and lawyer who works to save imperiled amphibians and reptiles.

“It’s pretty obvious that a pesticide that chemically castrates male frogs is highly suspect for people too, as well as bad for other wildlife," Giese continues. "It certainly shouldn’t be showing up in our drinking water.”  

Although the pesticide is banned in the European Union, up to 80 million pounds of it are used in the U.S. each year, contaminating ground, surface and drinking water. Atrazine, or its primary degradate, was found in approximately 75 percent of stream water and about 40 percent of all groundwater samples from agricultural areas tested in an extensive U.S. Geological Survey study.

Amphibians are particularly vulnerable to pesticide impacts because they live in waterways where their permeable skins absorb contaminants from agricultural runoff. Dr. Tyrone Hayes at the University of California has shown that atrazine chemically castrates and feminizes male frogs at concentrations lower than the level allowed in drinking water by the EPA.

In people, atrazine exposure may be linked to increased risks of thyroid cancer, reproductive harm and birth defects. For example, a recent study showed that children of mothers exposed to atrazine had an increased risk of a birth defect called choanal atresia, a narrowing or blockage of the back of the nasal canal that can be life-threatening in newborn infants. 

“With about 250 groups and thousands of people across the U.S. calling for a ban on atrazine, we hope the EPA will finally take a stand against the powerful pesticide lobby,” said Adkins Giese. “Atrazine poses an unreasonable, unnecessary risk to our health and the environment, and the EPA needs to ban it—now.”

Today’s coalition letter calls upon the EPA to ban atrazine due to “widespread exposure and unreasonable risks to human health and the environment.” The agency received today’s letter, and thousands of comments calling for an atrazine ban, during the public comment period opened for the agency’s “registration review” of the chemical. The EPA also received technical comments on the need to protect endangered species from the dangers of atrazine. 

Visit EcoWatch’s HEALTH page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Samantha Hepburn

In the expansion of its iron ore mine in Western Pilbara, Rio Tinto blasted the Juukan Gorge 1 and 2 — Aboriginal rock shelters dating back 46,000 years. These sites had deep historical and cultural significance.

Read More Show Less
Meadow Lake wind farm in Indiana. Anthony / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Tara Lohan

The first official tallies are in: Coronavirus-related shutdowns helped slash daily global emissions of carbon dioxide by 14 percent in April. But the drop won't last, and experts estimate that annual emissions of the greenhouse gas are likely to fall only about 7 percent this year.

Read More Show Less
Andrey Nikitin / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Adrienne Santos-Longhurst

Plants are awesome. They brighten up your space and give you a living thing you can talk to when there are no humans in sight.

Turns out, having enough of the right plants can also add moisture (aka humidify) indoor air, which can have a ton of health benefits.

Read More Show Less
A bald eagle chick inside a nest in Rutland, Massachusetts. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
A bald eagle nest with eggs has been discovered in Cape Cod for the first time in 115 years, according to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (Mass Wildlife), as Newsweek reported.
Read More Show Less
The office of Rover.com sits empty with employees working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 12 in Seattle, Washington. John Moore / Getty Images

The office may never look the same again. And the investment it will take to protect employees may force many companies to go completely remote. That's after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new recommendations for how workers can return to the office safely.

Read More Show Less
Frederic Edwin Church's The Icebergs reveal their danger as a crush vessel is in the foreground of an iceberg strewn sea, 1860. Buyenlarge / Getty Images

Scientists and art historians are studying art for signs of climate change and to better understand the ways Western culture's relationship to nature has been altered by it, according to the BBC.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Esben Østergaard, co-founder of Lifeline Robotics and Universal Robots, takes a swab in the World's First Automatic Swab Robot, developed with Thiusius Rajeeth Savarimuthu, professor at the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute at The University of Southern Denmark. The University of Southern Denmark

By Richard Connor

The University of Southern Denmark on Wednesday announced that its researchers have developed the world's first fully automatic robot capable of carrying out throat swabs for COVID-19.

Read More Show Less