Atrazine Herbicide: Did You Know?

Select an item below to learn the facts about Atrazine.

Atrazine is safe.

Atrazine is one of the most carefully studied and thoroughly tested chemicals in the world. Nearly 7,000 scientific studies conducted over more than 50 years have clearly established its safety for humans and the environment.

It is widely used around the world—in more than 60 countries in Asia, Africa, Australia, North America, South America, and the Middle East—and is supported by sound scientific evidence provided by a range of independent sources, including:

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • United Nations Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residue (JMPR)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • European Union
  • United Kingdom’s Scientific Committee on Plants
  • Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA)
  • Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA)

Atrazine has no impact on human health in real world exposure.

No one ever has, ever will, or ever could ingest enough atrazine in drinking water to adversely affect their health. It is not physically possible to dissolve enough atrazine in water to have any health impact. In fact, a 150-pound adult could drink thousands of gallons of water containing 3 parts per billion of atrazine (the EPA standard which includes a wide safety margin) every day for 70 years and still experience no adverse health effects.

Atrazine is good for the environment.

Atrazine products are critical modern agricultural tools that support land and water conservation, helping to maintain and enlarge the natural habitats of frogs and other wildlife. By encouraging conservation tillage and no-till farming, atrazine and other triazine herbicides reduce soil erosion, decrease fuel use, and improve water quality. Atrazine helps farmers reduce aggregate soil erosion by up to 85 million tons per year—enough to fill more than three million dump trucks.

Atrazine is vital for the U.S. economy.

The loss of atrazine would wipe out as many as 85,000 U.S. jobs. According to the EPA, farming without atrazine would cost corn growers alone as much as $28 per acre in alternative herbicide costs and reduced yields.

The EPA said in a 2003 review: "The total or national economic impact resulting from the loss of atrazine to control grass and broadleaf weeds in corn, sorghum and sugar cane would be in excess of $2 billion per year if atrazine were unavailable to growers."

Atrazine is not banned in Europe.

Atrazine has received favorable safety reviews from European Union and UK regulators and a sister herbicide very similar to atrazine is widely used by millions of European farmers.

Atrazine has no impact on children at real world exposure levels.

The EPA has stated that atrazine and other triazine related herbicides pose "no harm" to "the general U.S. population, infants, children … or other major identifiable groups."

No one ever has, ever will, or ever could ingest enough atrazine in drinking water to adversely affect their health. It is not physically possible to dissolve enough atrazine in water to have any health impact.

Atrazine has no impact on reproductive health at levels people would ever encounter.

In 2007, the World Health Organization reported that atrazine does not cause birth defects, and in 2011, an EPA Scientific Advisory Panel reported that atrazine does not affect reproductive or developmental outcomes, even at levels much higher than would ever be found in the natural environment.

Multiple sources agree: There is no link between atrazine and cancer.

A 2011 Agricultural Health Study report, sponsored by the EPA, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, confirmed that there is no statistically significant link between the use of atrazine and the incidence of hormone-related cancers, including breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer. That same year, an EPA Scientific Advisory Panel, as well as the World Health Organization and government agencies in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, also reported that available data do not support any association between atrazine exposure and any form of cancer.

Frogs thrive in agricultural areas.

In 2007, the EPA concluded that "atrazine does not adversely affect amphibian gonadal development based on a review of laboratory and field studies…" The Agency reiterated this position in April 2010, saying that "...no additional testing is warranted to address this issue."

In addition, a survey of frog populations in forests, agricultural areas, suburbs, and cities in the U.S. Northeast and found that frogs were thriving in rural, agricultural communities, while frogs in cities and suburbs had much higher deformity rates. A similar survey of the native northern leopard frog shows that it continues to thrive in areas where atrazine is heavily used, including in irrigation ditches next to cornfields in the U.S. Midwest.

There is no link between atrazine and endocrine disruption at real world exposure.

A 2011 EPA Scientific Advisory Panel confirmed that atrazine cannot and does not disrupt the human endocrine system at levels to which people could ever be exposed in the natural environment.

Syngenta is a fully independent company.

Syngenta was founded in November 2000 when Astra Zeneca and Novartis both spun off their agricultural businesses. Those two businesses then merged to become Syngenta. Syngenta is a completely standalone, independently-operated, publicly-traded company with no connection to Astra Zeneca or Novartis.