Atrazine is a powerful hormone disruptor that has been found in American water supply. Recent research has linked the chemical to genital deformation in boys as well as the development of the so-called micropenis. Due to this and other harmful effects on human health, Atrazine is banned in Europe, but not in the USA.
Exposure to Atrazine has been associated with breast and prostate cancer, reduced metabolism, ovarian cancer, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, thyroid disorders, leukemia and weight gain. Even worse, these problems are related to the chemical with low-level exposure. The Pesticide Action Network of North American has been warning about the potential dangers of Atrazine. “Timing of exposure may be more important than exposure levels. Research shows that low levels of exposure during key periods of pregnancy may interfere with healthy fetal development. The third trimester of pregnancy appears to be most critical, says a recent epidemiological study. Synergistic effects between atrazine and other pesticides may also render health harms more severe,” they wrote in a report.
The American EPA considers 3 drops of Atrazine in an Olympic sized pool of drinking water as the safe amount of consumption. However, many companies are putting much more of the chemical in their bottled water products and are getting away with it. According to one 2010 analysis, drinking water from 67 public systems in the USA had peak atrazine levels above 3 parts per billion, with one Ohio water supply systen having levels over 60 ppb. This is 20 times the recommended limit of Atrazine! 6 of the systems had higher than average annual concentrations of Atrazine only for drinking water – raw water samples had even higher concentrations!
One of the main producers of Atrazine, Syngenta AG are trying to convince the public that the chemical is safe. However, it was recently discovered that the company paid $105 million to settle a lawsuit with a few water companies which claimed that Atrazine poisoned their water supply.
If you’re wondering how to protect yourself from the chemical, the best solution is to stop drinking tap water. Filter it if you must drink it – when buying a filter, make sure that it is certified for Atrazine removal.