Dr ALISON BLEANEY
The latest results from DPIPWE are from a groundwater sampling and testing project of 60 bores; long overdue as the evidence for surface water contamination steadily builds.
Not surprisingly the culprits atrazine, hexazinone, 2,4-D and MCPA show up, above detection levels- obviously. However this does not give us the level of exposure or their effects to any pesticides or mixtures that may be present below detection level in water and sediments, and this is the real issue. BPA is supposedly present in all samples and DPIPWE is checking on their sampling equipment to see if this is the source of the plastic (BPA); a strong endocrine disruptor. By the way, what are water irrigation pipes made from? Could they contribute to this problem?

Meanwhile, science moves on leaving the regulatory system lagging way behind; showing the diverse effects of endocrine disruptors, that any exposure can cause effects, and producing more evidence that exposure to atrazine damages hormone sytems.

The message is very clear; keep these toxic chemicals out of water, and avoid the nastiest.

New research linking atrazine to hormone disruption

The pesticide
atrazine(http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC35042),
found in
surface and ground water in many U.S. states, alters the genes of male rats that control hormone production, according to new research published in Toxicological Sciences(http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/kfp135v1).
Environmental Health News summarized the science: “Rats were fed two higher doses of atrazine, 50 and 200 micrograms per kilogram body weight. Atrazine reduced the expression of several key genes involved in the production of steroid hormones, which affects levels of the androgens important for male development and reproduction. The exposure lowered testosterone levels at the higher dose and prostate size at both doses in the male rats.” The research adds to growing scientific evidence pointing to human and ecological health harms associated with atrazine, including hormonal disruption, neural damage, reproductive disorders, spontaneous abortion and cancers. The majority of atrazine is produced and marketed by Syngenta, a Swiss-based company. Atrazine is banned for use in the European Union, including Syngenta’s home, Switzerland, due to widespread and unpreventable water contamination. The herbicide remains the second most widely used pesticide in the U.S., with communities in the
Midwest(http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/pnsp/usage/maps/show_map.php?year=02&map=m1980)
facing highest levels of exposure in their groundwater. The law firm Korein Tillery is suing Syngenta and other atrazine manufacturers on behalf of an Illinois water provider, charging that that atrazine is harmful to humans in drinking water.

Panups 30 July 2009