Drinking water regs may allow more atrazine, but study warns it mutates frogs

STUPIDITY AWARD OF THE YEAR...and its only January ! On April 17 and November 11, 2002 you received Splash NewsBulletins concerning the pesticide atrazine causing genetic and sexual mutations in amphibians and reducing human male sperm counts. Now the EPA is considering raising the permissable amount of atrazine !

 Even if 1000 years from now, its proven atrazine is not harmful to humans (and I do not want to take that bet!), it has been proven nine months ago to be dissastrous to the environment, specifically frogs which the atrazine is not intended to harm. Where are the minds of the superbrains at the helm here !

I love my Aquathin !!!  

Drinking water regs may allow more atrazine, but study warns it mutates frogs

WASHINGTON — The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering a an increase in the amount of atrazine allowed to be contained in drinking water, even though findings by the University of California at Berkeley link the pesticide to sexual mutations in frogs.  The Environmental News Network (ENN) reported that if passed, the acceptable level of atrazine could rise from three parts per billion (ppb) to as high as 12 ppb.  ENN said the EPA is just beginning to consider the Berkeley findings, with a regulatory decision expected by late January.  The new level would be 120 times higher than the concentration that UC Berkeley developmental endocrinologist Tyrone B. Hayes has found to mutate frogs in the environment, ENN reported.

 The raise was proposed last year and was based on findings that atrazine, once classified as a human carcinogen, is not as dangerous as previously thought.  Atrazine is the second most common pesticide found in private and community wells and has been a popular, affordable chemical among farmers since the 1960's.  In Hayes' study, African clawed frog tadpoles exposed to levels of atrazine commonly found in the environment were turned into hermaphrodites — creatures with both male and female genitalia, according to the ENN report.

Atrazine also lowered male frogs' testosterone levels to below that of female frogs and reduced the size of their  vocal chords, which are used to call potential mates, the report said.  Hayes said these effects on the frogs brings the environmental costs of atrazine into serious question and might be one of the factors contributing to the global decline of amphibians., according to ENN. 

Hayes said he doubts atrazine has as severe an effect on humans, who do not spend their lives in the water, but the pesticide might subtly affect human sex hormones, the report said.  Previous debate, centering on the notion that atrazine was a human carcinogen, stemmed from studies in which Sprague-Dawley rats developed mammary-gland tumors after being exposed to the pesticide, ENN said.


Think Aquathin...AquathinK!!

Edited from Tech Bank 1/21/03