Atrazine is a weed-killer manufactured by agrochemical giant Syngenta. It is sprayed mostly on Midwest corn fields and is consistently one of the most-detected crop chemicals in drinking water. According to the Environmental Working Group’s Tap Water Database, which aggregates testing data from utilities nationwide, in 2015, atrazine was found in water systems serving nearly 30 million Americans in 27 states. Recent studies have shown that atrazine turns male frogs into females and may increase the risk of cancer and due to its ability to disturb the fine-tuned hormonal balance in the body, even at low doses, atrazine is believed to affect the reproductive system and the developing fetus.
The European Union has completely phased out atrazine because of its potential to contaminate drinking water. However, according to a report in The New York Times, in a mid-July assessment of atrazine the Environmental Protection Agency reviewed and dismissed twelve recent epidemiological studies linking atrazine to childhood leukemia and Parkinson’s disease, and asserted that the chemical was “unlikely to cause cancer,” as published by its manufacturer, Syngenta.