Atrazine has been linked to an increased risk of cancer and issues with the reproductive system, developing fetuses, and hormones.
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.
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1. EPA. National Primary Drinking Water Regulations.https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/national-primary-drinking-water-regulations#Byproducts. Accessed April 1, 2021.
2. EWG Tap Water Database. Atrazine. https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/reviewed-atrazine.php. Accessed April 1, 2021.
3. EWG. Hormone-Disrupting Weed Killer Taints Drinking Water for Millions of Americans. https://www.ewg.org/research/hormone-disrupting-weed-killer-taints-drinking-water-millions-americans. Accessed April 1, 2021.
4. Scientific American. Atrazine in Water Tied to Hormonal Irregularities.https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/atrazine-water-tied-hormonal-irregularities/. Accessed April 1, 2021.
5. Regulations.gov. Regulatory Update on the Registration Review of Atrazine October 22, 2019. https://www.regulations.gov/document/EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0266-1260. Accessed April 1, 2021.
6. USGS National Water-Quality Assessment (AWAQ) Project. Pesticide National Synthesis Project. https://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/pnsp/usage/maps/show_map.php?year=2017&map=ATRAZINE&hilo=L. Accessed 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. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27816866/. Accessed 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. https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/15/9/1889. Accessed 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. https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65/crnr/atrazine-propazine-simazine-and-their-chlorometabolites-dact-dea-and-dia-0. Accessed April 1, 2021.
10. Center for Biological Diversity. EPA Scraps Protections for Children from Pesticide Linked to Birth Defects, Cancer. https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/epa-scraps-protections-children-pesticide-linked-birth-defects-cancer-2020-09-18. Accessed April 1, 2021.
11. Center for Biological Diversity. Endocrine-disrupting Pesticide to Be Banned In Hawaii, Five U.S. Territories, Prohibited on Conifers, Roadsides. https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/endocrine-disrupting-pesticide-atrazine-be-banned-hawaii-five-us-territories-prohibited-conifers-roadsides-2020-09-23/. Accessed April 1, 2021.
12. University of California Berkeley Research. Pesticide atrazine can turn male frogs into females. https://vcresearch.berkeley.edu/news/pesticide-atrazine-can-turn-male-frogs-females. Accessed April 1, 2021.