In honor of Earth Day, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) introduced a bill to ban the pesticide atrazine. Atrazine is an endocrine disruptor and carcinogen.
This means it will mess with your body’s hormones and raise your chances of contracting cancer. For example, evidence shows that atrazine present in water systems from runoff neuters frogs. It is one of many reasons that the word’s frog population is dying off.
Sadly, it ain’t just the frogs who react to atrazine. Atrazine is still widely used throughout the US. So, thank you, Keith.
Last year, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released a report linking atrazine to adverse health effects in humans and animals. Specifically, atrazine is associated with infertility, low birth weight, and abnormal infant development in humans. Despite these harmful linkages, atrazine provides only moderate agricultural benefits. For example, the US Department of Agriculture estimates that an atrazine ban would result in crop losses of only 1.19 percent.
“Banning atrazine is the most effective way for us to keep our rivers and drinking water safe from toxic pesticides and this bill is a great first step toward achieving that,” stated NRDC attorney Mae Wu.
The pesticide is currently banned in the European Union and faces calls for greater regulatory scrutiny in the United States.
Atrazine is the most commonly detected pesticide in US waters and the most prevalent found in Minnesota waters. The U.S. Geological Survey found atrazine in approximately 75 percent of stream waters and 40 percent of ground waters sampled near agricultural areas. An estimated 33 million Americans have been exposed to atrazine through drinking water.
(Ellison press release email)