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Gender bender chemical widely contaminates U.S. water supply

(NaturalNews) Emerging research increasingly indicates that the U.S. water supply is widely contaminated with the endocrine disrupting chemical atrazine, but that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking almost no action on the threat.

Atrazine is an herbicide widely sprayed on corn fields in the Midwest, and one of the most widely detected groundwater contaminants in the country. According to an analysis of state and federal records by the Chicago Tribune, atrazine has been detected in the drinking water of a million people in 60 Illinois communities over the past four years. Yet the EPA requires testing for the chemical only four times a year, meaning that short-term spikes of the toxin go undetected — and unregulated.

Special agreements between the EPA and Syngenta, the top manufacturer of the atrazine used in the U.S., have led to limited weekly or biweekly testing for the chemical by 130 water utilities in 10 different states. In 2008, nearly half of these communities in the Midwest alone experienced atrazine levels in their water above the federally imposed limit of 3 ppb (parts per billion) at least once. In Flora, Illinois, levels spiked as high as 30 ppb at one point.

In nine Midwestern communities, atrazine levels averaged higher than 3 ppb for the full year. Yet unless levels higher than 3 ppb are detected during one of the EPA’s four official yearly tests, the agency is helpless to take action. Likewise, contamination detected at other times need not, under the Safe Water Drinking Act, be reported to the public. This has led to a situation where citizens are not only unaware that their water is contaminated, they are never told that an inexpensive home filter could remove the toxin from their water.

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