EPA, Reversing Bush, to Study Dangers of Weed-Killer Used on Corn and Lawns

Sunday, October 11, 2009

For years during the Bush administration, and even into this summer, officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had insisted the weed-killer atrazine was not a danger to the public or environment. But in the wake of articles published in August by The Huffington Post Investigative Fund that revealed the EPA was sitting on scientific data that indicated otherwise, the agency has announced it intends to conduct a new study of the widely-used chemical.

Atrazine is an herbicide sprayed on everything from corn fields to home lawns, and increasingly it has been showing up in drinking water supplies. The Huffington investigative series revealed EPA officials knew the chemical had been found in four states where it exceeded federal safety levels.
A new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council argues that weak federal regulatory efforts have helped to allow “levels of atrazine in watersheds and drinking water to peak at extremely high concentrations.” Other studies have reported the chemical can cause birth defects, low birth weights and reproductive problems in humans.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
EPA Begins New Scientific Evaluation of Atrazine (Environmental Protection Agency press release)
Poisoning the Well (Natural Resources Defense Council) (PDF)
In Reversal of Bush Policy, EPA Launches New Study of Atrazine’s Health Effects (by Danielle Ivory, Huffington Post Investigative Fund)
Regulators Plan to Study Risks of Atrazine (by Charles Duhigg, New York Times)


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