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250 Groups Urge EPA To Ban Atrazine Pesticide

Pesticide is found in 75 percent of stream water and 40 percent of all groundwater tested in a study.

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A coalition of conservation, sustainable farming, and public health entities have sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency asking the agency to ban Atrazine, an endocrine-disrupting pesticide that chemically alters the reproductive organs of certain male frogs.

"With about 250 groups and thousands of people across the United States calling for a ban on Atrazine, we hope the EPA will finally take a stand against the powerful pesticide lobby,” said Collete Adkins Giese of The Center for Biological Diversity. "Atrazine poses an unreasonable, unnecessary risk to our health and the environment, and the EPA needs to ban it — now.”


In their letter, the coalition said that Atrazine should be banned due to "widespread exposure and unreasonable risks to human health and the environment.” The pesticide, which was banned in the European Union in 2004, has been found in 75 percent of stream water and 40 percent of all groundwater samples, according to a February 2007 U.S. Geological Survey. According to the Center, more than 80 million pounds of the pesticide is used in the United States each year, mostly on corn.

Amphibians are more vulnerable due to the fact that most live in and near the very waterways that are often contaminated with the pesticide. Their skin is also permeable so the pesticide is easily absorbed into their bodies. In a University of California study of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis), Dr. Tyrone Hayes showed that Atrazine chemically castrated and feminized the frogs at concentrations that were lower than the level that the EPA allows in drinking water. Studies on humans showed that the pesticide may be linked to thyroid cancer, birth defects and harm to the reproductive system. A study in March 2013 suggests that unborn children of pregnant mothers exposed to Atrazine had an increased risk of a birth defect called choanal atresia, which is a narrowing or blockage of the back of the nasal canal in newborns. 

A copy of the letter and a list of the groups that signed the letter is below:

August 26, 2013

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


OPP Docket, EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC) (28221T)

1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20460–0001

Dear Administrator McCarthy,


We the undersigned organizations are writing to ask the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ban atrazine, a commonly-used weed killer and toxic chemical that threatens human health and the environment. This dangerous pesticide is the most commonly detected pesticide contaminant of ground, surface, and drinking water.

Atrazine is a powerful endocrine disrupter that is already banned in the European Union.

Atrazine causes complete sex reversal in male frogs at concentrations lower than what the U.S. EPA allows in our drinking water supply. In people, there is reason to be concerned about the potential risk of cancer, reproductive harm, or birth defects.

With such widespread exposure and unreasonable risks to human health and the environment, the U.S. EPA must ban the use of atrazine.



Action for Animals

Alameda Creek Alliance


Alaska Applied Sciences, Inc.

Alaska Community Action on Toxics

Alaska Wildlife Alliance

Altamaha Riverkeeper


Angelics Organics Learning Center

Animal Legal Defense Fund

Animals Are Sentient Beings, Inc.

Apollo Kauai

Atlantic Energy Ltd

Audubon Society of Corvallis

Audubon Society of New Hampshire

Basel Action Network

Battle Creek Alliance

Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT)

Better Future Project

Big Wildlife (a project of the Earth Island Institute)

Biodiversity Conservation Alliance

Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association

Black Warrior Riverkeeper

Blue Heron Nature Preserve

Breast Cancer Action

Breast Cancer Fund

Buckeye Forest Council

Buena Vista Audubon Society

Buffalo River Action Team

Burrowing Owl Conservation Network

Cahaba Riverkeeper

California Bluebird Recovery Program

California Oaks

California Wildlife Foundation

Californians for Western Wilderness

Californians for Alternatives to Toxics

Cascades Raptor Center

Cascadia Wildlands

Center for a Sustainable Coast

Certified Naturally Grown

Center for Biological Diversity

Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ)

Center for Large Landscape Conservation

Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation

Central New Mexico Audubon Society

Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Honey Co-op

Choptank Riverkeeper

Citizens Against Ruining the Environment (C.A.R.E. Illinois)

Citizens Campaign for the Environment

Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge

Citizens’ Environmental Coalition

Citizens for a Sludge-Free Land

Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB)

Citizens for Sanity.com

Citizens of the Karst

Coal River Mountain Watch

Concerned Citizens for Clean Air

Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice

Conservation Congress

Conservation Northwest

Coos Waterkeeper


Cumberland Countians for Peace & Justice

Desert Protective Council

Eastern Coyote Research

Eastman Environmental

Ebbetts Pass Forest Watch


Ecological Internet

Ecology Party of Florida

Eli’s Farms (Danny and Eli Hofshi)

Endangered Habitats League

Endangered Species Coalition

Environment and Human Health, Inc.

Environmental Action Committee of West Marin

Environmental Health Strategy Center (of Maine)

Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC)

Fairmont, Minnesota Peace Group

FarmedHere, LLC

Flycasters, Inc. of San Jose

Food Democracy Now!

Food Empowerment Project


Forestland Dwellers

Free Soil Party

Freedom Center for Wildlife, Inc.

Fresno Audubon Society

Friends of Five Creeks

Friends of the Arroyos

Friends of the Creeks

Friends of the Santa Clara River

Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk

Fund for Wild Nature

Gifford Pinchot Task Force

Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives

Global Community Monitor

Global Exchange

Global Justice Ecology Project

Glynn Environmental Coalition

Golden West Women Flyfishers

Grassroots Environmental Education

Great Old Broads for Wilderness

Green America

Green Delaware

Green Environmental Coalition

Green Party of Skagit County

Green Party of Tennessee

Green Sugar Press

Greening Forward

Greenspace-the Cambria Land Trust

Growing Alternative Resource Development and Enterprise Network (G.A.R.D.E.N. Inc.)

Growing Home

Gulf Restoration Network

Healthy Child Healthy World

Hells Canyon Preservation Council

Helping Our Peninsula’s Environment (HOPE)

Hilton Head Island Audubon Society

Independent Environmental Conservation & Activism Network

Institute for Fisheries Resources

Interfaith Council for the Protection of Animals and Nature

Interfaith Declaration on Climate Change

JR Organics CSA/Rodriguez Family Farm

Kauaians for a Bright Energy Future

Kentucky Environmental Foundation

Kern Audubon Society

Kickapoo Peace Circle

Kids vs Global Warming

Klamath Forest Alliance

KS Wild


La Purisima Audubon Society

Living Cosmos Society

Living Rivers


Long Branch Environmental Education Center

Loon Lake Loon Association

Malama Kauai

Mankato Area Environmentalists

Maricopa Audubon Society

Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition

Massachusetts Forest Watch

Maui Tomorrow Foundation

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute

Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy

Midwest Environmental Advocates

Midwest Latino Health Research, Training and Policy Center

Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES)

Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter (MRVAC)

MOMS Advocating Sustainability

Montana Raptor Conservation Center

Monterey Audubon Society

Monterey Coast Keeper

Morning Sun Foundation

Morro Coast Audubon Society

Mudjoy Farm

National Catholic Rural Life Conference

National Research Center for Women & Families

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Network for Environmental & Economic Responsibility United Church of Christ

New Century Management

New York Turtle & Tortoise Society

North County Watch

North East Oregon Ecosystems

Northcoast Environmental Center

Northeast Organic Farming Association – Interstate Council (NOFA-IC)

Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, Inc. (NOFA-NY)

Northern California Council Federation of Flyfishers

Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society

Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides

Northwest Ecological Research Institute

Northwest Environmental Advocates

Northwest Environmental Defense Center

Ocean Outfall Group

One More Generation

Organization for Bat Conservation

Orange County Interfaith Coalition for the Environment

Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA)

Parents For a Safer Environment

Peninsula Fly Fishers

Physicians for Social Responsibility

Potomac Riverkeeper

Preserve Wild Santee

Protect All Children’s Environment

Protect All Living Species

Protect Arkansas Wildlife

Rachel Carson Council

Raptor Services, LLC

Red Rock Audubon Society

Redwood Region Audubon Society

Regional Parks Association Berkeley

Religious Witness for the Earth

Rocky Mountain Wild

St. Marys Earthkeepers

Saltilla Riverkeepers

San Diego Audubon

San Fernando Valley Audubon Society

San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper

Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society

Save The Cumberland

Save The Frogs!


Save Our Sky Blue Waters

SEE Innovation

Sequoia ForestKeeper

Seven Generations Ahead

Sheep Mountain Alliance

Shenandoah Riverkeeper

Slow Food USA

South Florida Audubon Society

South Umpqua Rural Community Partnership

Southwest Environmental Center

Stand Up/Save Lives Campaign

Stewards of the Earth

Sustainable Arizona

Sustainable Sanctuary Coalition

Tennessee Chapter Sierra Club

Tennessee Environmental Council

Tennessee Ornithological Society

The Center for Media and Democracy

The Clinch Coalition

The Land Connection

The Otter Project

The Rewilding Institute

The Tortoise Reserve

The Wild Nature Institute

Thyme For Peace B&B Hideaway and Produce

Toxic Awareness Body of Oregon

Toxics Action Center

Triangle Womens’ International League for Peace and Freedom

TriCounty Watchdog

Tri-City Ecology Center

Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment)

Truck Farm Chicago

Turtle Island Restoration Network

Uranium Watch

Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk, U.S. Province

Utah Environmental Congress (UEC)

Valley Watch, Inc.

Virginia Society of Ornithology, Conservation Committee

Wasatch Clean Air Coalition

Watershed Alliance of Marin

Watersheds Stewards Academy

Western Nebraska Resources Council

Western Wildlife Conservancy

WildEarth Guardians

Wild Equity Institute

Wild Fish Conservancy

Wild Heritage Planners

Wild South

Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation

Williamsburg Climate Action Network

Winyah Rivers Foundation, Inc.

Women's Community Cancer Project

Women’s Voices for the Earth

Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

Xun Biosphere Project

Yadkin Riverkeeper

Yellowbilled Tours

Yosemite Area Audubon Society

Zero Waste Kauai