[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [APD] herbicides and human health

Since simazine is in the same family of herbicides (s-triazines)
and is used in aquariums to kill plants (ahem "algae"), this is
border line on topic.

Here's the levels of usage of atrazine in the USA:

It's mainly used in corn.
Note: this does not include the rest of the world where it's
also being used widely and for a very long time.

"I can find no scientific data that shows that Atrazine is a
health hazard to

Well check the handy dandy EPA web site for toxicology reports
and the environmental impact reports.


You'll note several types of reports here.
This will keep you busy.

Goggle Scholar:

If if causes cancer in other critters, they have shown that the
likelyhood of it causing human health issues is very high as

Perhaps we should treat 500 women see if they get ovarian

I'll stick with the rats. 

Several studies show a strong correlation between stomach cancer
and atrazine:


See in the "introduction" and references there.
Breast cancer in KY, ovarian cancer in Italy. Etc.
The other huge issue, who is funding the studies that are
cited?A few things have been surpressed and questioned
agressively after a report came out not looking favorably on
their product.

Some rat studies:


Note, they often add a lot more to the rats over short time
frames, the notion is, that over time and longer time frames,
there will be similar effects on huamns to, but studying long
term exposure effects on humans is tough.

Few studies will go beyond 2-5 years. 

So given such constraints, the wise would play it safe.
Some studies do look at the long term effects of cancer in high
use areas, the results do suggest what the rat studies are often
suggesting. While the dots are not connected, there is a very
strong correlation, too strong to ignore when it comes to
protecting human health and welfare.

Some researchers are trying to connect the dots, it takes time
and $$. They are trying to show the mechanisms of action, how
the chemicals impact our bodies. You'll note that Cytochrome
P450 is often talked about, it's very common in dealing with
toxicants in both plants and humans.
Someone suggested they had no issue living next to a farm that
used herbicidies like atrazine without even looking inot the
issue. Once you are no longer ignorant of the issue and look
into it, I like you will no longer feel so confident. This is
not just some green tree hugging issue, there is strong evidence
suggesting lots of human health issues.

The irony is that public policy is so interested in playing is
safe with oil, terrorist, cold war communist, various other 
witch hunts and spying at the corporate and governmental level,
but questions everything tooth and nail with it comes to
environmental issues.

Apparently there are two seperate levels of rigor:-(

It's certainly not in the public's interest, short nor long
term. Environmental protection is in everyone's best interest.
So is education. There are other tools, new and better
herbicides the ag businesses can use....they have other options
My issue with this herbicide is really one of mismanangement and
resistance to  a wide range of weeds. The other issue is, unlike
ALS inhibitors etc, you have to use a lot of atrazine to get it
to work, the ALS inhibitors only need a tiny fraction to work.
So they have less chance of causing an issue.   
Such over use is based less on science and more on the short
term gains, but that's how politics is also run.

"if we had only know back then"

In invasive species and weeds, this is the classic mantra we
hear time and time again. After rather than forethought.
Ignoring the bulk and consensus of the scientific community.

"  It has been shown to cause cancers in lab animals (as have a
lot of
other commonly-used products) and there is some anecdotal
evidence that it
has caused problems, but that's all I can find."

We need to wait till there is a crisis and human tragedy before
folks regulate something? 

That's not how things are done. That's the way things use to be
done, now some folks cry about the regulations imposed by things
like, the Clean water act, the EPA protocols, having to produce
toxicology studies, EIR's etc.

These are in place for good reason, to protect the public's
health and welfare. That is one of the government's main

There is strong correlation, too strong to ignore.
Causation? There is dispute there. We cannot say that much yet,
but I expect that to be dealt with shortly. Understanding an
entire pathway takes time and funding. 

In the meantime, play it safe.
Didn't work well with Katrina, mercury, PCB's, DDT, but hard
lessons hopefully teach the future better. 

The product is up for relicensing in October, and if it really
does present
a health hazard I'd like to know, so that I might do something.


I doubt there will be much change, the $$$ involved and ag
business is really smitten with the product. I fully support the
lobbying effort!! 

Here's the strong talking points:
1. Lots of correlation to human health issues, too much to
2. Lots of studies suggest bad things to a variety of organisms,
not just us.
3. High concentrations required to get effective use on target
4. Availability of alternatives that have very low toxicity and
a low concentrations
5. Good PR if they are phased out
6. Limited effectiveness due to high usage over 40 years leading
to strong "Super weeds" that are highly resistant(50 species
7. Longer term environmental monitoring, funding for such
studies and monitoring, special permitting

So stop using herbicides to kill your algae to help your plants.
Say no to anything with simazine in it.

Tom Barr


Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around 
Aquatic-Plants mailing list
Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com