Endocrine disruption back on the agenda

A recent peer reviewed scientific paper indicates that, even at the low levels found in some drinking water, the pesticide atrazine, still quite widely used on corn in North America, may cause or contribute to irregular menstrual cycles and low estrogen levels. The paper compared these factors for women in Illinois, where atrazine levels in drinking water are higher, with those for women in Vermont, where atrazine levels in drinking water are very low.

GallonDaily sees this specific research as inconclusive but adding to the body of evidence that atrazine, which is not readily biodegradable, may be a more serious endocrine disruptor than bisphenol A (BPA), to which much more media and critic attention has been directed in recent years.

The bigger issue is that while so much attention has been focused on BPA the issue of endocrine disruption in a much broader range of chemicals has been given little attention. At some point this matter will return to the public policy agenda and a significant number of food and household products may be impacted by public concern.

The paper on endocrine disruption from drinking water (abstract: free; full paper: fee required) is at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935111002349

A summary prepared by the independent Environmental Health News is at http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2011/2011-1123atrazine-tied-to-menstrual-irregularities

A agricultural industry perspective on atrazine is at http://www.ontariocorn.org/envt/envpest.html

A more recent Federal government response to the issue of the effects of atrazine on amphibian populations is at http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/pet_283_e_32986.html

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