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Commonly-Used Pesticide Atrazine Discovered in Drinking Water

The Huffington Post is reporting that a pesticide commonly used by farmers in the US called atrazine was found to exceed EPA limits in drinking water within the four states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kansas.  The dilemma:  The customers were not told about the contamination, the EPA has not published the results, and misleading concentration levels were ultimately reported on water bills.

What is Atrazine?

Atrazine is a herbicide that was approved for use in 1958 and is used in the control of broadleaf weeds and some grassy weeds.  It's estimated to be the most heavily used herbicide in the U.S.  with the majority of agricultural use areas in being the midwest, particularly Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Nebraska, and Delaware.

What are the Effects of Atrazine?

The primary concern with atrazine has been from animal studies results showing that it affects hormone levels.  In one study, male frogs that were exposed to high Altrazine levels were shown to grow eggs.  Another study by the Biology or Reproduction released results this summer finding that exposure to atrazine in adult rats disrupted hormone production and triggered ovulation.  In the US, atrazine has the green light to be used across the nation, but in 2004 the European Union banned the use of atrazine as health officials were unable to prove it's safety in drinking water.

Removing and Filtering Atrazine

Many water filters are not designed to remove atrazine. The Black Berkey purification elements however are able to remove atrazine contamination from water to below detectable levels. The Black Berkeys come standard in any of the available sizes of Berkey Filter Systems.

Watch This Video on Atrazine

3 thoughts on “Commonly-Used Pesticide Atrazine Discovered in Drinking Water”

  • Atrazine in Water
    Atrazine in Water June 23, 2010 at 3:25 am

    A carbon filter with granular activated carbon is needed to remove any significant amount of atrazine from the water supply. Unfortunately this technology is much more expensive and shorter lived than the rapid sand filters used by many utilities in the Corn Belt. Rapid sand filters can last 20 to 30 years but do not remove organic pollutants such as pharmaceuticals and certain pesticides, such as atrazine.

  • Franklin

    BTW - Atrazine washes off into our rivers, lakes and streams, where it eventually ends up in our municipal water supply. The National Resources Defense Council reports that about 75 percent of stream water and 40 percent of all groundwater samples from agricultural areas contain atrazine.

  • Franklin

    The story is about Atrazine, one of the most widely used weed killers in the United States, which is banned in the European Union because of its propensity to contaminate groundwater and its effects on frogs and other amphibians. People need a water filter to protect them from this dangerous chemical.

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