Atrazine in tap water

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Toxicity Rating
Health Effects

Atrazine has been linked to an increased risk of cancer and issues with the reproductive system, developing fetuses, and hormones.

The legal limit is
Health Guideline
0.1 ppb
what is considered unhealthy
Legal Limit
3 ppb
What is atrazine?
Atrazine is a common weed-killing pesticide, also known as an herbicide, used to treat crops. Farmers choose atrazine because it’s hard on weeds, easy on crops, and extremely affordable. An estimated 70 million pounds of the chemical are applied to U.S. crops each year, most of which is sprayed on corn. Atrazine is banned in more than 35 countries, including the European Union, as it is linked to hormone and reproductive issues, and possibly cancer.
Why is atrazine in tap water? How does it get into tap water?
Atrazine makes its way into our water supplies through agricultural runoff. In other words, the chemical is transported from farm fields into streams, rivers, and other water sources by rain, snow, soil, and irrigation. Even worse, it’s slow to break down in water and it doesn’t degrade in heat or sunlight. Therefore, it can live in our waterways for a long time.
Why is atrazine in my tap water harmful? What does atrazine do to humans?
Atrazine is a hormone disruptor that interferes with estrogen, testosterone, and dopamine. It has been linked to preterm delivery, low birth weight, and other reproductive problems as well as developmental risks in children. As a matter of fact, California added atrazine to its prop 65 list due to its ability to cause reproductive and developmental toxicity.
While there have been hundreds of studies on atrazine’s impact on humans, many of them have been flawed or led to inconclusive findings. However, the growing body of work surrounding the chemical points to possible links to breast cancer, prostate cancer, and more.
Perhaps the most notorious study around the chemical claims it turned male frogs into female frogs. Famed biologist, Tyrone B. Hayes, is responsible for publishing findings of this “chemical castration.” His research sparked a feud with the pharmaceutical company that invented and manufactures atrazine because it funded the 1997 study. Hayes’ research has yet to be accepted by the EPA or Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) as the organizations consider his original study flawed and other studies have been unable to replicate the results.
Is atrazine banned in the US?
Atrazine is banned in Hawaii and in the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands. However in 2020, the EPA reapproved the use of atrazine for the rest of the United States until at least 2035 — while also allowing up to 50% more atrazine to end up in U.S. waterways. As you can imagine, this could lead to unprecedented levels of atrazine contamination.
How much atrazine is safe?
The U.S. EPA set a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of .003 mg/L for atrazine. Water is sampled quarterly to form an annual average. Therefore, atrazine can exceed the MCL at any given time. Epidemiological studies suggest the EPA’s .003 mg/L MCL does not fully protect against harm to the reproductive system, developing fetuses, and hormones.
How to get rid of atrazine in water?
Clearly Filtered’s breakthrough Affinity® Filtration Technology removes up to 99.9% of atrazine from tap water. Upgrade to our superior water filters so you never have to worry about atrazine lurking in your water again.
How does Clearly Filtered do at Removing Atrazine in tap water?
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Atrazine in tap water Removal

1. EPA. National Primary Drinking Water Regulations. April 1, 2021.

2. EWG Tap Water Database. Atrazine. April 1, 2021.

3. EWG. Hormone-Disrupting Weed Killer Taints Drinking Water for Millions of Americans. April 1, 2021.

4. Scientific American. Atrazine in Water Tied to Hormonal Irregularities. April 1, 2021.

5. Regulatory Update on the Registration Review of Atrazine October 22, 2019. April 1, 2021.

6. USGS National Water-Quality Assessment (AWAQ) Project. Pesticide National Synthesis Project. April 1, 2021.

7. NIH National Library of Medicine, PubMed. Atrazine and nitrate in drinking water and the risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight in four Midwestern states. April 1, 2021.

8. MDPI. Atrazine Contamination of Drinking Water and Adverse Birth Outcomes in Community Water Systems with Elevated Atrazine in Ohio, 2006—2008. April 1, 2021.

9. California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Atrazine, Propazine, Simazine and their Chlorometabolites DACT, DEA and DIA Listed Effective July 15, 2016 as Reproductive Toxicants. April 1, 2021.

10. Center for Biological Diversity. EPA Scraps Protections for Children from Pesticide Linked to Birth Defects, Cancer. April 1, 2021.

11. Center for Biological Diversity. Endocrine-disrupting Pesticide to Be Banned In Hawaii, Five U.S. Territories, Prohibited on Conifers, Roadsides. April 1, 2021.

12. University of California Berkeley Research. Pesticide atrazine can turn male frogs into females. April 1, 2021.