Atrazine Declared Safe Following 12-Year EPA Study

Iowa group participated in Environmental Protection Agency's review of triazine herbicide. Compiled by staff

Published on: Jul 6, 2006

A 12-year review of nearly 1,000 studies has determined the popular herbicide atrazine is safe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says there is "a reasonable certainty that no harm will result" to infants, children or other consumers from possible exposure to atrazine.

Atrazine is one of the most commonly used crop protection products, says Rick Robinson, environmental policy advisor for the Iowa Farm Bureau. It not only saved farmers up to $37 an acre in broadleaf weed control costs and yield losses in corn last year; it is the herbicide of choice for farmers who practice environmentally-friendly no-till planting.

The Iowa Farm Bureau participated in the EPA special review of atrazine by coordinating special test corn plots at Iowa State University and promoting a survey that showed how Iowa farmers use atrazine.

Public comment period ends Aug. 21

"This is good news for Iowa farmers and all citizens. It is good that science can still win the day over activists with an agenda," says Robinson. "Having the EPA say atrazine is safe should carry a lot of weight if there are any future civil actions against atrazine manufacturers."

EPA says farmers and the general public have until August 21 to comment on its preliminary decision regarding the EPA risk assessment of atrazine and two other triazines. You can go to www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/cumulative/triazine_fs.htm to make a comment to EPA.

In reviewing the triazine products, EPA looked at product use in three regions - the Midwest, California and Florida. The agency also looked at four exposure scenarios - drinking water in each region, and home and golf course exposure in Florida. The agency concludes that cumulative exposures to triazine residues are not a concern in any of the four exposure scenarios.