For decades, science said to ban this toxic pesticide. Now, Trump’s EPA wants to allow more in our waterways.
Even at low doses, exposure to atrazine has been linked to some seriously scary effects for aquatic wildlife, including altered sex hormones in frogs living in atrazine-polluted environments. Male frogs exposed to atrazine in the lab and in the wild had eggs in their testes and female-mating behaviors. And studies show health problems for people, too, like birth defects and some links to cancer that would disproportionately risk farmers and people living near farms. That's why the European Union banned the widely used pesticide back in 2004, and public health organizations like NRDC have called for its ban in the United States for decades. But, as per usual, Trump’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency refuses to follow the science. The agency has now proposed upping the allowable amount of atrazine in waterways—from 10 parts per billion (ppb) to 15 ppb. That’s a big win for the chemical giant Syngenta, atrazine’s primary manufacturer, which can now sell more of it worry-free. The end result? More of this toxic weedkiller making its way into rivers, streams, and, eventually, our drinking glasses.