Atrazine is bad news. If you’re meme-savvy, you’ll probably know that it is behind what is making the frogs… well, if you know, you know.
You’ve probably heard of Monsanto’s Roundup and its principal chemical glyphosate, which has already been linked to cancer and is banned in many countries. But what about Atrazine, the second-most common herbicide in use in the United States after Roundup? Atrazine is probably as dangerous as Roundup, in particular as an endocrine-disrupting chemical. We’ve already warned about endocrine disruptors in our dedicated article on xenoestrogens, and also in numerous articles about the approaching fertility apocalypse and tanking testosterone levels of most men in the developed world.
What is Atrazine?
Atrazine is a herbicide produced by Syngenta A.G., a company based in Switzerland. It has been in use in the United States since 1958. Although it is now banned in the Europe Union, after a 2004 investigation which found groundwater levels exceeding those set by regulators, it remains legal in the US, where it is used in massive quantities, especially in certain crop-producing regions.
Annually, around 70 million lbs of Atrazine is used in the US. Around 90% of this ocean of herbicide is used to kill weeds in corn fields, especially in the Midwest region. The remaining 10% is used on sugarcane, sorghum, macadamia nuts, soybeans, schools, parks, playgrounds, guava, athletic fields and evergreen farms. Atrazine is also an ingredient of around 200 other farming and landscaping products on the market.
Notice the massive concentration of Atrazine use in the corn belt (Midwest)
When glyphosate was developed, it was hoped that this would lead to the phasing out of Atrazine use. Unfortunately, as crops grew resistant to glyphosate, this didn’t happen, and now weeds are often subjected to an ultra-toxic cocktail of glyphosate and Atrazine for greater effectiveness.
(9) GMO Advocate Says Monsanto’s Roundup Safe to Drink, Then Refuses Glass – YouTube
Of course, chemicals sprayed on crops tend not to stay on the crops or in the ground where they’re sprayed; if only things were that simple! Instead, these chemicals, including Atrazine and glyphosate, are washed into rivers and lakes and also find their way into human drinking water.
In fact, Atrazine is found in 94% of all drinking water tested by the USDA, more than any other pesticide. An estimated seven million people were exposed to Atrazine between 1998 and 2003 through their drinking water.
The highest levels of groundwater contamination are, as we might expect, in the Midwest, where it is used the most. There is a seasonal aspect to contamination, with USGS monitoring showing that drinking water concentrations typically spike during the spring and early summer as rains flush the freshly applied herbicide into streams and from there into local drinking water supplies.
So why is this such a bad thing?
Atrazine: an endocrine-disrupting chemical
I don’t remember this conversation in Metal Gear Solid 2…
Atrazine is not a chemical that kills or makes it effects known quickly. Rather, it works by a more insidious process of hormonal disruption, causing chemical castration and various dreadful reproductive effects. Evidence for the cancer-causing potential of Atrazine is also growing steadily. Here we’ll focus on the endocrine-disrupting, or xenoestrogenic, effects in particular.
If the general public, at least in the US, know anything about xenestrogens, it’s likely to be as a result of the Alex Jones ‘gay frog’ meme. In 2015, during one of his many lengthy rants, after discussing the US military’s supposed development of a ‘gay bomb’ to make enemy combatants make love (with each other) and not war, Jones uttered the now immortal line, ‘I don’t like ‘em putting chemicals in the water that turn the frickin’ frogs gay!’
Lost among the mockery and viral memes, including a parody indie folk song, was the fact that there really are chemicals in the water that make amphibians and fish change their gender. These chemicals are xenestrogens, chemicals that mimic the effects of the natural hormone estrogen, and among the worst of them is Atrazine. Its endocrine-disrupting effects have been well-established for some time.
In 2006, a statement was made before the House Committee on Government Reform about the increasing number of male fish observed to be bearing eggs in the Potomac River.
The study noted:
‘Current research on intersexual characteristics has related numerous chemicals to reproductive effects in fish. These chemicals, often termed “endocrine disruptors’ include previously banned chemicals, such as DDT and chlordane, natural and anthropogenic hormones, herbicides, fungicides, industrial chemicals, and an emerging group of chemicals including personal care products and pharmaceuticals that may act as endocrine disruptors in fish as well as other organisms.’
‘Potential sources of these endocrine disruptors include agricultural, as well as individual use of herbicides and pesticides, human waste (discharges from wastewater treatment facilities and individual home septic systems), animal wastes that may reach the aquatic environment through runoff, leachates from landfills, and even atmospheric deposition.’
Of course, the damage to aquatic ecosystems is bad enough, but it’s not just amphibian and fish species that are affected. Humans are affected directly by these chemicals too (as well as indirectly, since they may cause ecosystem-level collapses in human food sources if fish and amphibians cannot reproduce properly). Other studies have shown links to increased risk of miscarriage, reduced male fertility, low birth weight, increased risk of birth defects across the board and higher incidence of abdominal defects.
All in all, together with the witches’ brew of other toxic xenoestrogenic chemicals we are exposed to in increasing concentrations on a daily basis, we could be facing a situation in which mankind finds itself unable to reproduce without scientific intervention within the next 25 years. Yes. Really. By 2045, the majority of men could be totally unable to produce sperm, with the remainder producing amounts that render them functionally infertile too.
So what can you do to protect yourself against Atrazine exposure? Three of the easiest things to do are:
- Install a reverse-osmosis water filter with a carbon filter for your drinking water.
- Choose organic, locally grown, seasonal food
- Always wash properly and peel fruit and vegetables that are non-organic
If you’re interested in improving your hormonal balance and reclaiming your masculinity, we have a new FREE ebook available on testosterone which will provide you with a wealth of knowledge on the subject and practical advice. Download it from Gumroad now!