"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. "
Kari Lydersen reports for the Washington Post August 24, 2009.
NRDC Report and Sidebars
"USGS Releases Online Interactive Tool to Predict Atrazine in Streams Across U.S." (USGS Release)
"Debating How Much Weedkiller Is Safe in Your Water Glass" (New York Times)
"EPA Fails To Inform Public About Weed-Killer In Drinking Water" (Huffington Post Investigative Fund)
"Syngenta Stands Behind the Safety of Atrazine" (Syngenta Release)
"Lawsuit Questions Safety of Herbicide" (Peoria Journal Star)
"Paralysis by Analysis" (Washington Monthly)
"Chemical Industry Pressures EPA To Protect Herbicide, Not Wildlife" (Union of Concerned Scientists)
"It's Not Easy Being Green: Are Weed-Killers Turning Frogs Into Hermaphrodites?" (Harpers)
"Atrazine Acts in the Brain To Disrupt the Hormones That Trigger Ovulation" (Environmental Health News)
"EPA Won't Restrict Atrazine; White House Documents Obtained by NRDC Reveal That Industry Influenced the Decision"