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1. What is Atrazine ?

2. Environmental Contamination

3. Ecological Impacts

4. Endocrine disruption

5. Neural Damage

6. Pregnancy loss

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9. Risks and Benefits

MN05EllisonKeith@mail.house.gov

Dear Representatives Ellison, Waxman, and Boxer

This letter is a request urging you and your office to: 1) pursue a ban on the herbicide atrazine as described in Bill H.R. 3399 authored by Representative Keith Ellison, 2) investigate the chemical industry and EPA’s collaboration during the review of atrazine  as requested by Keith Ellison on June 23, 2007 in a letter to Representative Henry Waxman, Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government, and 3) to further urge the EPA to develop an effective plan for regulating atrazine and other endocrine disrupting chemicals as requested by Senator Barbara Boxer (Dallas Morning News, Sunday, May 27, 2007).

The herbicide, atrazine, is a known endocrine disruptor that causes sexual abnormalities, immune failure, loss of neurons, behavioral abnormalities, retardation of growth and development, pregnancy loss/abortion in fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals in lab and field studies with similar associations in humans. I note that the EPA’s most recent review relied heavily on a single study that examined effects on amphibian gonads only. This study was also funded by the manufacturer and conducted in two laboratories (one of them being the laboratory of a former EPA panel member). As a result, 38 peer-reviewed published papers showing adverse effects on amphibians were ignored and over 40 papers showing endocrine disruption in laboratory rodents, human cells, and humans were ignored. I also note that the European Union has banned the use of atrazine and is not allowed in Switzerland (home of the manufacturer), yet the US still uses 80 million pounds per year.

Further, current estimates suggest that atrazine increases crop yield by less than 2% (if at all). This marginal benefit of this pesticide does not outweigh environmental and public health safety concerns. Like the European Union’s our pesticide regulatory practices should consider environmental health and public safety over industry’s monetary concerns.