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Toxic Deception: Book, book review, and re: Atrazine
Thought this information might be of interest to you (re: the book, the
book review, and the information) - Patricia Dines
--- FORWARD ---
From: C, INTERNET:THCLAX00@UKCC.uky.edu
To: Patricia Dines, 73652,1202
Date: Mon, Feb 17, 1997, 9:13 PM
Subject: Toxic Deception: Atrazine
Web page: HTTP://www.nytimes.com:80/yr/mo/day/oped/17herb.html
>February 17, 1997
>IN AMERICA*/ By BOB HERBERT
>How is it that an herbicide considered to be such a threat to human
>that it is banned in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands,
>Norway and Sweden somehow manages to remain the most widely used
>of any kind in the United States?
> The herbicide is atrazine, a white crystalline powder that when sprayed
>over cornfields very quickly displays its remarkable ability to kill the
>grasses and broadleaf weeds that make a corn farmer's life miserable
>leaving the corn itself alone.
> Atrazine is cheap. It's long-lasting. And it doesn't dissolve in water.
>can even spray it in the rain. Farmers have taken to atrazine the way
>toddlers take to candy. For the giant chemical outfit Ciba-Geigy,
>has been an absolute bonanza.
> The downside of atrazine is spelled out in a new book, "Toxic
>How the Chemical Industry Manipulates Science, Bends the Law, and
>Your Health." The book was written by a pair of environmental
>Dan Fagin and Marianne Lavelle, who did their research in conjunction
>the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity in Washington.
> The Federal Government has classified atrazine as a possible human
>carcinogen. Some studies (disputed by Ciba-Geigy) have shown that
>can damage DNA and induce gene mutations. Mr. Fagin and Ms. Lavelle
>that animals fed high doses of atrazine have suffered liver, heart and
>kidney damage. And recent studies have linked the chemical to hormonal
> "Indeed," wrote Mr. Fagin and Ms. Lavelle, "out of 10
>pesticides (including several known carcinogens) tested in a recent
>only DDT had as damaging an effect as atrazine on how the body
> Atrazine has been showing up in supermarket corn, and in beef and milk.
>(Atrazine-treated corn is routinely fed to cattle.) And it has become
>the leading contaminants of drinking water. The chemical was found in
>1,604 water samples drawn from streams, rivers, reservoirs and aquifers
>the Midwest between 1989 and 1994.
> The magnitude of the health threat of this chemical can be gauged from
>estimate by the Environmental Protection Agency that some corn farmers
>a 1 in 863 lifetime risk of developing cancer from atrazine. Nonfarmers
>the Midwest face a 1 in 20,747 risk, and a 1 in 13,850 risk if they use
>atrazine on their lawns.
> By way of comparison, Mr. Fagin and Ms. Lavelle note, the E.P.A.
>takes regulatory action when a chemical poses a lifetime cancer risk
>than one in a million."
> So why do atrazine and other very dangerous chemicals remain in
>use, and why does the public hear so little about them? Those are the
>of questions that are answered in "Toxic Deception." The book explains
>the regulatory system is rigged to benefit the chemical manufacturers
>keeping the general public in a dangerous state of ignorance.
> Very few Americans, for example, realize that the Federal Government
>not screen chemicals for safety before they go on the market. It is up
>the chemical manufacturers themselves to determine whether a product
>substantial risk to health or the environment.
> Thus, according to Mr. Fagin and Ms. Lavelle, only a fraction of the
>of thousands of chemical compounds on the market today have been
>for safety. Those examinations, for the most part, were conducted only
>specific questions were raised about a specific product.
> Once a chemical is on the market, it is incredibly difficult to get it
>The chemical companies have nearly perfected the art of shielding their
>products from the interference of government regulators, public interest
>groups and even private citizens who have been grievously harmed.
>has spent more than $25 million in its battle with the E.P.A. over
>and another herbicide, simazine.
> "Toxic Deception" shows how the industry uses campaign contributions,
>junkets, job offers, "scorched-earth" courtroom strategies, misleading
>advertising and multimillion-dollar public relations campaigns to keep
>products on the market no matter how great the potential dangers.
> It's the story of the triumph of a special interest over the public
> BB BB
New York Times
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