Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
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EPA Marks Three Herbicide Active Ingredients Safe, Including Atrazine

After 7 years, the US Environmental Protection Agency says the widely used herbicide can stay on the market with some new restrictions. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced this final decision on Sept. 18, during an event in Missouri attended by farm-group leaders and local lawmakers.
Atrazine is one of the most commonly used herbicides in the US. Farmers spray it on crops such as corn, sorghum, and sugarcane to control grasses and broadleaf weeds. Consumers apply it to residential lawns to kill weeds. Atrazine persists in the environment and is a widespread drinking water contaminant. The herbicide and its breakdown products are linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity in people and aquatic organisms.
The EPA concluded in 2018 that combined exposure to atrazine from food, drinking water, and residential lawns poses developmental risks to children. In 2016, the agency found reproductive risks to wildlife.
To address the risks to children, the EPA is lowering the amount of atrazine that can be applied to residential lawns. The agency is also requiring workers who apply the herbicide to wear respirators to minimize their exposure.
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