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Atrazine safe, study shows

Agriculture.com Staff 09/15/2010 @ 2:39pm

Researchers with Syngenta Crop Protection presented study results to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) panel Wednesday that prove the herbicide atrazine is safe, company officials say.

Syngenta scientists presented study data that more closely replicate real-world exposure, supporting the safety of the herbicide.

One of the studies presented Wednesday measured the potential effects of atrazine on animals (rats in this experiment) using 2 delivery methods: After distributed doses, or after a large, single dose.

Because the rats received atrazine in distributed doses over time, data from this study are more applicable to how humans may be exposed to minute quantities of atrazine in reality. Doses delivered in a distributed manner showed no effects up to and including the highest dose given (500 parts per million in the diet).

"This highest dose was tens of thousands of times higher than the current EPA water standards for atrazine. People would never be exposed to this level in the environment," says Tim Pastoor, Ph.D., principal scientist with Syngenta, in a company report. "Yet even at this extreme dose, atrazine had no effect."

In addition, Syngenta is providing significant new data that will support the EPA's efforts to understand the internal dose metric for atrazine and its metabolites -- or what happens to these compounds once they enter the body. This information will aid the EPA in applying animal exposure scenarios to humans.

"As the EPA continues its re-evaluation of atrazine, we want to continue to provide the most relevant data, showing that the extremely small levels found in water are safe," says Pastoor.

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