Commonly Used Atrazine Herbicide Adversely Affects Fish Reproduction Dan Larson
The herbicide Atrazine, one of the world’s most commonly used herbicides has now been shown to affect reproduction tracts in fish, according to a study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey. “Concentrations of atrazine commonly found in agricultural streams and rivers caused reduced reproduction and spawning, as well was tissue abnormalities in laboratory studies with fist,” says Donald Tillitt, a USGS scientist and the leading author of the studies article. USGS tested fathead minnows for reproduction and other abnormal side affects by exposing the minnows to the atrazine, from 0 to 50 micrograms per liter of water. These levels are below the Office of Pesticides Aquatic Life Benchmark of 65 micrograms. This means that the atrazine levels in the water do not have to be the minimum benchmark to still be affected. This is very bad news to hear coming from these USGS scientists. Because atrazine is such a popular herbicide, all around the world, it will be hard to convert over to a different herbicide, that has the some power that atrazine has to control weeds. This is a similar to the Roundup ready resistant weeds in the United States. Because Roundup ready was so popular, just like atrazine, new strains of weeds were mutated from the over abundance of these chemicals being used. This will more than likely happen someday with atrazine, but hopefully the world could solve this problem by creating a less toxic herbicide that doesn’t harm fish or wildlife.
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