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National

May 19, 2017

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Atrazine

Atrazine

Atrazine is an herbicide of the triazine class. Atrazine is used to prevent pre- and post emergence broadleaf weeds in crops such as maize and sugarcane and on turf, such as golf courses and residential lawns. It is one of the most widely used herbicides in US and Australian agriculture. It was banned in the European Union in October 2003, when the EU found groundwater levels exceeding the limits set by regulators, and Syngenta could neither show that this could be prevented nor that these levels were safe.

As of 2001, atrazine was the most commonly detected pesticide contaminating drinking water in the United States. Studies suggest it is an endocrine disruptor, an agent that can alter the natural hormonal system. In 2006 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had stated that under the Food Quality Protection Act “the risks associated with the pesticide residues pose a reasonable certainty of no harm..

Atrazine is an herbicide that kills both broadleaf and grassy weeds. It is the second most widely used herbicide in the United States. Atrazine is most widely used on corn in the U.S., especially in the Midwest, but it’s also used on crops like sugarcane, pasture grasses, and winter wheat.

The science on atrazine’s effects on the hormone system continues to grow. It alters the levels of key hormones in rats and can delay puberty. In male frogs, exposure to atrazine causes a kind of “chemical castration,” causing them to develop female sex characteristics.

Gul e Laila Khattak

Bahria University, Islamabad

 

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