Fortunately, the EPA is taking seriously the threat that atrazine poses to wildlife. Through October 5, 2016, the EPA is accepting public comments on a draft ecological risk assessment that finds atrazine poses unacceptable risks to fish, amphibians, and aquatic invertebrates, as well as birds, reptiles and mammals. (Thanks to the Center for Biological Diversity for suing the EPA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to force them to analyze the impacts of atrazine on more than 1,500 endangered plants and animals.)
Atrazine was banned in the European Union in 2004. Here in the U.S.? After Monsanto’s Roundup (glyphosate), Syngenta’s atrazine is the nation’s number-two pesticide, with 80 to 90 million pounds applied to crops, golf courses and lawns each year.
A recent investigation into pesticide use in Vermont’s dairy industry found atrazine to be one of the most commonly used pesticides.
In July, California listed atrazine as a “reproductive toxicant.” Why? Because, the Center for Biological Diversity found evidence that atrazine is linked to birth defects, reduced male fertility and reproductive toxicities in women. Products containing atrazine will now require a warning label before they can be sold in California.
A ban on atrazine is long overdue. You would think this poison should be banned because of the risks it poses to human health. But hey, if the EPA wants to ban it because it harms wildlife, we’ll take it.