What is Atrazine?
Atrazine is a man-made herbicide that has been around since 1958. It is one of the most commonly used pesticides in the United States. Nathan Donley, Ph.D. states Atrazine is a derivative of oil and gas as it contains a chemical manufactured by Exxon Mobil.
Where is it used today?
Hawaii and a few other US Territories have Atrazine. Many places in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America have banned its use. The European Union banned the use of Atrazine in 2004 when they noticed groundwater contamination, and the US Environmental Protection Agency advised of potential harm to women and children. In the United States, Atrazine is used most in the Midwest, particularly among farmers.
Why should I care about Atrazine?
Honestly, I didn't care about Atrazine. I didn't know what it was until I saw this Instagram video. When applied to the ground, it can affect other plants, water, amphibians, and humans that access those areas. Atrazine also enters vegetation through the roots, which can affect those consuming such vegetation. It can affect a person as they inhale air where it's applied and the skin of those who come in contact with it. It can be on and inside food products, which means washing Atrazine off is out of the question.
Atrazine can be on turf fields, park lawns, drinking water, farmlands, and more. It could affect you in several ways if you were to breathe it, consume it, or get it on your skin. Playing on turf, golfing, enjoying lakes/rivers/streams, drinking water, or applying Atrazine to an area can affect anyone's health. It can even affect animals.
Atrazine is known as an endocrine disruptor. It transforms testosterone into estrogen at elevated rates, which can increase femininity in males. This transformation increases the risk of breast and prostate cancer in both males and females.
What are the side effects of Atrazine?
Common side effects include irregular menstrual cycles, sperm count reduction, higher risk for miscarriages, slow fetal development, increased risk of breast and prostate cancer, gastroschisis, the deferred onset of puberty, kidney failure, pre-term delivery, obesity and insulin resistance, and more.*
Where can I find out more about Atrazine?
Don’t be afraid to do your research and view the article links below. There are many resources about Atrazine, and I have listed a few.
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp153-c1-b.pdf
Atrazine Fact Sheet: http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/atrazine.html
Environmental Protection Agency: https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/atrazine
Massachusetts Environmental Public Health Tracking: https://matracking.ehs.state.ma.us/Environmental-Data/Water-Quality/atrazine.html#MyPopup
Pesticide Action Network: https://www.panna.org/resources/atrazine
*The links provided detail all side effects found.