(Article by Tracy Beanz and Michelle Edwards republished from TheHighWire.com)
It’s important to note that atrazine is the most common pesticide contaminant of ground and surface water and can be transported more than 1,000 km from the point of application via rainfall. As a result, it contaminates otherwise pristine habitats, even in isolated areas where it is not used. In fact, according to the National Academy of Science (PNAS), more than half a million pounds of atrazine are precipitated in rainfall each year in the United States. Several studies have shown that atrazine is a potent endocrine disruptor in the parts per billion (ppb) range in fish, amphibians, reptiles, and human cell lines. Studies also indicate that atrazine reduces testicular volume, induces hermaphroditism, reduces testosterone, and induces testicular oogenesis. The PNAS authors remarked that despite the “wealth of data from larvae and newly metamorphosed amphibians,” the “ultimate impact of atrazine’s developmental effects on reproductive function and fitness at sexual maturity” has not been explored. Why not? Speaking of the need for further study, they emphasized:
“Atrazine contamination is associated with demasculinization and feminization of amphibians in agricultural areas where atrazine is used and directly correlated with atrazine contamination in the wild.”
In a September 2003 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) study shared by the CDC detailing the “Toxicological Profile for Atrazine,” the agency confirmed that the pesticide is dangerous. The 262-page study referenced the word “hormone” 67 times, definitively stating, “Atrazine has been shown to cause changes in blood hormone levels in animals that affected the ability to reproduce.” The study noted that “some of the specific effects observed in animals are “not likely to occur in humans” because of biological differences between the two. Yet, the HHS immediately added, “However, atrazine may affect the reproductive system in humans by a different mechanism.” Conveniently, that mechanism has not been examined. Sound familiar? Referencing the developmental effects of atrazine exposure, the CDC stated:
“Atrazine exposure has been associated with developmental effects in both humans and animals. An association was found between Iowa communities exposed to an average of 2.2 ?g/L atrazine in the drinking water in 1984–1990 and an increased risk of intrauterine growth retardation and cardiac, urogenital, and limb reduction defects. Developmental effects in response to oral exposure to atrazine have been demonstrated in laboratory animals. Studies have shown that gestational and peripubertal exposure to atrazine has an effect on reproductive development in rats and rabbits.
The effects of gestational exposure to atrazine in rats and rabbits include increased post-implantation losses, full-litter resorptions, decreased live fetuses/litters, increased prenatal loss, decreased litter size, and reduced pup weights, which could be attributed to severe maternal toxicity. Atrazine exposure in rats is also associated with delayed vaginal opening, first estrus cycle, and uterine growth for female rats and decreased prostate weight, increased incidence and severity of inflammation of the lateral prostate, increased myeloperoxidase levels in the prostate, and increased total DNA in the prostate for male rats.”
Read more at: TheHighWire.com