Toxic Herbicide Discovered In 500 Water Utility Systems Across Texas

December 3, 2018
Tap Water, Faucet, Glass, Hand

Nearly 500 water utility systems across the state of Texas have tested positive with some level of atrazine, a toxic herbicide.

Atrazine is used to prevent weeds from growing in crops, and to have it in our drinking water, at this time, is especially odd since farmers aren't typically in growing season right now.  A report from the Environmental Working Group found that nearly 30 million Americans have atrazine in their tap water, and those in Texas who live near sorghum or corn-growing areas are more likely to have contaminated drinking water.

Unfortunately, a study from the University of Texas has found a link between atrazine exposure and astroschisis, a birth defect in the wall of a baby’s abdomen, as well as causing various deformities in male genitalia.  If there is some good news, however, it’s that the atrazine levels in Texas have not gone above the legal limit yet.  The EWG mandates that atrazine levels not exceed 0.1 ppb, and only Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky and Ohio had levels higher than the legal limit.

Still, the Office of Pesticide Programs at the EPA is considering opening discussion on whether or not to revise drinking water standards as they relate to atrazine. You can find information about your drinking water supply at Texas Drinking Water Watch.

Via Texas Tribune