Atrazine (the most common herbicide on Earth) has been clogging the news waves lately with a recent study that showed it caused male frogs to become female. Atrazine was outlawed in the EU for its possible links to cancer and has been found in levels above EPA regulations across the Midwest where it is commonly sprayed on cornfields. Now 16 cities in four states are suing the manufacturer of Atrazine, Syngenta Co., for the costs of the expensive water filtration systems that will make their drinking water safe again.
The NRDC has studied Atrazine levels in drinking water and they note that, “scientific studies have linked atrazine to a higher risk of prostate cancer, and hormonal, cardiovascular, lung and kidney problems in humans; sexual and hormonal abnormalities in frogs, fish and reptiles, and to decreased production in aquatic plants.” Though these facts have been shown over and over in scientific studies outside of the commercial industry, congress has over and over passed laws allowing Atrazine to remain in widespread use.
The Huffington Post Investigative Fund reported last fall that the EPA failed to notify people in the Midwest that Atrazine had been found in drinking water in amounts above the federal limit. The cities involved in the lawsuit claim that Atrazine manufacturers have made billions of dollars on the sale of their product without responsibility for the environmental effects of runoff from corn fields where it is used. They note that taxpayers are left with the financial burden of filtering their own water. Lawyers involved noted that the 16 cities have spent more than $350 million dollars attempting to filter Atrazine from their drinking water.