Hormone-Disrupting Weed Killer Taints Tap Water for Millions in Corn Belt

Seasonal spikes of atrazine–a weed killer that can disrupt hormones and harm developing fetuses–contaminate drinking water in corn-growing areas of the Midwest and beyond, according to an analysis of federal records by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data show that in some Corn Belt communities, atrazine levels can spike three to seven times above the legal limit in late spring and early summer. But by avoiding water testing during peak periods, some water utilities stay in compliance with drinking water regulations—and don’t have to tell customers they were exposed to a hazardous chemical in their tap water.

"Our investigation found that nearly 30 million Americans have atrazine in their tap water," said Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., EWG senior science advisor for children’s environmental health. "But many may never know, because outdated federal policies allow utilities to test for atrazine before or after the spike."

EWG’s investigation is the most comprehensive analysis to date of national data on the pervasive contamination of drinking water by this chemical. EWG found that last year, utilities in Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky and Ohio had atrazine spikes much higher than the federal legal limit of three parts per billion, or ppb. […]

More about water and soil contamination with atrazine and herbicides:

Farmers Face Tough Choice On Controversial Weedkiller

New report: Unregulated contaminants common in drinking water

Can American soil be brought back to life?

Engineered sand zaps storm water pollutants

Summary
Hormone-Disrupting Weed Killer Taints Tap Water for Millions in Corn Belt
Article Name
Hormone-Disrupting Weed Killer Taints Tap Water for Millions in Corn Belt
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Nearly 30 million Americans have atrazine in their tap water. They may never know because the USA allows utilities to test for it before or after it spikes.
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Environmental Working Group
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