Ban “Atrazine!” – Dangerous Frog-Castrating Pesticide Poses Grave Risk to WildlifePosted by Jennifer Molidor, ALDF's Staff Writer on August 26, 2013
Today, the Animal Legal Defense Fund signed onto a letter from the Center for Biological Diversity and a coalition of 250 concerned organizations to demand that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protect our wildlife, our environment, and our citizens from the horrific pesticide known as “atrazine.” This toxic pesticide contaminates our water supply and can cause endocrine disruption, reproductive harm, and cancer. We need your help to ban this toxin!
To demonstrate support for banning atrazine in the U.S., a coalition of animal protection, conservation, health, farmworker, environmental, and sustainable food groups, signed onto a letter to the EPA that asks to reduce the harmful effects of pesticide on animals, humans, and our environment. The toxin is banned in the European Union, yet more than 80 million pounds of it are used in the U.S. each year.
Frogs and other amphibians are especially vulnerable to atrazine. Their skins absorb these toxic chemicals from agricultural runoff, and research from Dr. Tyrone Hayes at the University of California has demonstrated that atrazine castrates male frogs—even at the levels allowed in our drinking water by the EPA.
Today’s letter calls upon the EPA to ban atrazine due to “widespread exposure and unreasonable risks” to wildlife, human health, and the environment. The federal agency received our letter along with tens of thousands of comments calling for the ban.
The letter to the EPA follows:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
OPP Docket, EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC) (28221T)
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20460–0001
Dear Administrator McCarthy,
We the undersigned organizations are writing to ask the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ban atrazine, a commonly-used weed killer and toxic chemical that threatens human health and the environment. This dangerous pesticide is the most commonly detected pesticide contaminant of ground, surface, and drinking water.
Atrazine is a powerful endocrine disrupter that is already banned in the European Union. Atrazine causes complete sex reversal in male frogs at concentrations lower than what the U.S. EPA allows in our drinking water supply. In people, there is reason to be concerned about the potential risk of cancer, reproductive harm, or birth defects.
With such widespread exposure and unreasonable risks to human health and the environment, the U.S. EPA must ban the use of atrazine.
Animal Legal Defense Fund, Center for Biological Diversity, and coalition