Atrazine in Water Is a Threat Essay

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Maria Call Professor Williams English 100 7 March 2013 Atrazine in Water is a Threat Dirty water is one of the world’s biggest health risks and continues to threaten quality of life. We rely on clean water to survive and key sources that we receive our water from are being tainted with a chemical called atrazine, which is an economical pesticide used on most corn, grain, sugar cane, citrus, pineapple, and sorghum to control weeds (Williams 23). Atrazine is also one of the most widely used pesticides in the world and in the United States alone, more than 80 million pounds are applied annually (Hayes et al. 1). Hayes argued, “the impacts of atrazine on amphibians and on wildlife in general are potentially devastating” (Hayes et al. 4). Atrazine causes disease and deformities and is a threat to both humans and wildlife. Atrazine is the most common pesticide contaminant of ground and surface water that can spread a half million pounds of atrazine more than 1,000 km from the point of application via rainfall (Hayes et al. 1). In addition to the mobility and contamination of water, atrazine is also a potent endocrine disruptor active in the parts per billion range in fish, amphibians, reptiles, and human cell lines (Hayes et al. 1). The use of atrazine has been described by Heather Hamlin, an assistant professor with the University of Maine, School of Marine Sciences, as being responsible for a host of health problems seen in fresh water fish and amphibians (Hamlin 1). Research has shown that atrazine in water gravely affects male frogs by decreasing testosterone levels (Hayes et al. 1). Not only does atrazine harm frogs, but it was discovered that the enzyme which atrazine activates in frogs is the same one found in humans that converts testosterone into estrogen (Hayes et al. 1). The use of atrazine in the environment has resulted in documented evidence of

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