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Atrazine, we filter that.

Atrazine is the common name for an herbicide that is widely used to kill weeds & grass. It is used mostly on farms around the United States. Pure atrazine is an odorless, white powder-is not very volatile, reactive, or flammable. Unfortunately, Atrazine will dissolve in water and that is how it gets into our ground water supply and tap water. Atrazine is made in the laboratory and does not occur naturally.

Atrazine is used on crops such as sugarcane, corn, pineapples, sorghum, and macadamia nuts, and on evergreen tree farms and for evergreen forest regrowth. It has also been used to keep weeds from growing on both highway and railroad rights-of-way. Atrazine can be sprayed on croplands before crops start growing and after they have emerged from the soil. Some of the trade names of atrazine are Aatrex®, Aatram®, Atratol®, and Gesaprim®. The scientific name for atrazine is 6-chloro-N-ethyl-N'-(1-methylethyl)-triazine-2,4-diamine. Atrazine is a Restricted Use Pesticide, which means that only certified herbicide users may purchase or use atrazine. Certification for the use of atrazine is obtained through the appropriate state office where the herbicide user is licensed.

How Atrazine Gets Into Ground Water

Atrazine is applied to agricultural fields or to crops to kill weeds. It is also used near highways and railroads for the same purposes. Some atrazine may enter the air after it is applied to the soil. Some atrazine may also be washed from the soil by rainfall and enter surrounding areas, including streams, lakes, or other waterways. Some atrazine may migrate from the upper soil surface to deeper soil layers and enter the groundwater.

After atrazine is applied to soils, it will remain there for several days to several months; in rare situations, it may remain in soils for a few years. However, in most cases, atrazine will be broken down in the soil over a period of one growing season. In addition to being removed from soil, atrazine is also taken up by the plants that grow there, and this uptake is the first step in killing weeds.

Any atrazine that is washed from the soil into streams and other bodies of water will stay there for a long time, because breakdown of the chemical is slow in rivers and lakes. It will also persist for a long time in groundwater. This is one reason why atrazine is commonly found in the water collected from drinking water wells in some agricultural regions.

Atrazine has been banned in Europe since the 1980s under laws that prohibit the use of any pesticide that contaminates drinking water. But in U.S., the federal government places few restrictions on its use.

Health Effects

Researchers from University of California, Berkeley, has found that atrazine can cause male frogs to become “functionally female,” or hermaphroditic. In humans, atrazine disrupts the male and female hormone systems and is a known endocrine disruptor.

Recent studies of American communities with atrazine-contaminated water associate exposure with increased cancer risk, shorter pregnancy and altered menstrual cycles. These studies examine people drinking water with atrazine concentrations well below the federal legal limit of 3 parts per billion, or ppb. A part per billion is about one drop of water in an Olympic-size swimming pool. In contrast, scientists at the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment determined in 1999 that atrazine contamination of tap water above 0.15 ppb increases the lifetime risk of developing cancer.

Atrazine poses the biggest health risks during pregnancy and infancy. Because of their small size and limited diets, bottle-fed babies consume five to six times higher doses of water pollutants than adults in the same household. Scientists don't how long children must be exposed before suffering harm –  but when it comes to children’s health, why take a risk?

At Epic Water Filters we have designed & tested all of our products for the removal or reduction of Atrazine.

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