"CHICAGO -- Drinking water containing a common herbicide could pose a greater public health risk than previously thought because regular municipal monitoring doesn't detect frequent spikes in the chemical's levels, according to a report released Monday by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The report documented spikes in atrazine in the water supplies of Midwestern and Southern towns in agricultural areas, where the herbicide is applied to the vast majority of corn, sorghum and sugar cane fields.
Atrazine, an endocrine disrupter, can interfere with the body's hormonal activity and the development of reproductive organs. The Environmental Protection Agency looks at annual average levels of the chemical in drinking-water systems, but the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says this misses spikes likely to occur after rain and springtime application of the herbicide. "
NRDC Report and Sidebars