The Case for Banning Atrazine
Atrazine, the most commonly used herbicide in the United States, is also the most common contaminant of ground, surface, and drinking water. It’s so dangerous to humans and wildlife that it was recently banned by the European Union. Numerous studies have provided overwhelming evidence linking atrazine to significant human and wildlife health concerns, including endocrine disruption.
Atrazine is also linked to declines of endangered amphibians in California, and of many other endangered species throughout the country. Recent studies by Dr. Tyrone Hayes at the University of California have strengthened the case for banning atrazine, demonstrating that the pesticide is an endocrine disruptor that directly affects the sexual development of amphibians, chemically castrating and feminizing male frogs even at concentrations 30 times lower than levels allowed by the EPA.
Use of atrazine in the Bay Area is of particular concern for amphibians such as the California red-legged frog and California tiger salamander, as well as for fish like the delta smelt, coho and chinook salmon, and steelhead trout. Atrazine has been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer and decreased sperm count in men, as well as a higher risk of breast cancer in women.
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