The most popular use for atrazine is on corn. As corn is the largest crop in the United States  and atrazine is used on up to 85% of all corn crops, the amount of atrazine applied in the United States each year (up to 80 million pounds) is significant  . In fact, until recently replaced by glyphosate (Round-up) in popularity, atrazine was the most popular herbicide applied in the
The levels of atrazine contamination in several situations are shown below.
9. Risks and Benefits
What’s more, there are other incredibly important ethical and environmental issues that must be considered. In the case of atrazine, the supposed benefits are bestowed on one group of individuals, while the risks target others. The poor, who are already more likely to live in contaminated areas, less likely to be educated on the risks of atrazine and other chemicals, and less likely to have access to proper health care, are not likely to be able to afford water filters, bottled water, and organic produce. Further, the poor (by definition) are not the ones who receive the economic benefits of atrazine.
While men who live in agricultural areas suffer from decreased fertility associated with atrazine contamination (measured as 0.1 ppb in urine) , men who work in agriculture have atrazine levels more than 200 times higher and applicators have atrazine levels in their urine that are 24,000 times the level that chemically castrates and feminizes frogs and 24,000 times the level associated with low fertility in men in Missouri . The fact that both Novartis and Astrazeneca (both formerly Syngenta ) are marketing drugs that inhibit aromatase as treatments for breast and prostate cancer , after selling and continuing to sell a pesticide that induces aromatase is itself an important ethical issue. What’s more, the same people who are more likely exposed in the environment, who are unable to purchase water filters, bottled water and organic produce, less likely to have adequate healthcare and access to education, are more likely to have the unskilled jobs in agriculture and industry that expose them to contaminates, such as atrazine. Already Mexican American agricultural workers and African American unskilled factory workers (the community surrounding Syngenta’s Saint Gabriel atrazine production plant is more than 80% African American) suffer from shorter life expectancies  and can be two times more likely to die from breast cancer [16-20] and four times more likely to die from prostate cancer [20-22], both cancers induced by atrazine in laboratory rodents and associated with human exposure to atrazine.
Despite these concerns, the Environmental Protection Agency has no capacity to deal with these issues. The EPA has never reviewed all of the evidence for atrazine’s adverse effects on wildlife and humans, but have rather had narrowly focused reviews of individual studies and effects. The current model for addressing the effects of atrazine on amphibians will take more than 40 years to complete. Further, the requirement that the molecular and biochemical mechanisms be completely understood in this model, will make it virtually impossible in our lifetimes to regulate any chemical of concern. The mechanism of action for many compounds already banned (e.g. DES, DDT, TBT) are still not completely understood. Thus, chemicals already proven dangerous and already banned, could easily re-enter the market, if we utilize this model.
Recently, in an article originally entitled “Chemical Roulette: What Price would you put on your liver, prostate or fertility?”, the EPA stated, “The ultimate decision is much bigger than science, it weighs into public opinion…”. It was ultimately this statement that inspired my header and this website…to inform you and hopefully move you to action…
Our world and our future are in your hands.