Lawsuit Filed Over Contaminated Drinking Water From Atrazine Weed Killer
A water contamination lawsuit has been filed against Syngenta AG by 16 cities across the Midwest, which claim the company’s weed killer Atrazine, which has been linked to birth defects, has infiltrated drinking water sources.
The Atrazine lawsuit was filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District in Illinois. The communities who filed the claim are located in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Ohio. The lawsuit seeks to force the Swiss corporation Syngenta, and it’s U.S. subsidiary, Syngenta Crop Protection, to pay for cleaning the chemical out of the water, according to a story in the Huffington Post.
Atrazine (ethylamine and isopropylamine) is a widely used herbicide, with more than 70 million pounds used in agriculture every year in the U.S. The weed killer has been banned by the European Union due to how easily it contaminates waterways and drinking water supplies. It has also been held in suspicion by critics due to its effects on species such as amphibians, and the growing body of evidence that it causes a variety of birth defects.
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The lawsuit alleges that runoff from crop fields sprayed with atrazine contaminated streams and waterways that contribute to a number of communities’ drinking water supplies. To remove the chemical, cities would have to purchase expensive carbon filters, an expense which would be footed by tax payers.
Syngenta officials say that the levels of atrazine in the water are safe.
The lawsuit comes just weeks after a new study was released that linked atrazine to a birth defect known as gastroschisis, an abdominal wall defect which causes some of an infant’s organs, usually intestines, to develop outside of the body. Researchers found that gastrochisis was more common among infants born to mothers who lived within 15.5 miles of a water body that was found to have high levels of atrazine contamination. They also found that the closer the mother lived to the contaminated water source, the more likely the risk of a birth defect, and that the defects were more prevalent among mothers who conceived in the spring, when atrazine use is at its highest.
Syngenta has rejected the findings of the study, saying that atrazine does not cause birth defects or reproductive problems. However, the study is the latest in a series of studies, performed by different groups of researchers, which have linked atrazine to birth defects.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry indicates that atrazine at high levels causes birth defects in animals.
mikeMay 17, 2010 at 9:24 pm
there is a movie called "Flow" which talks about this drug in our water. it goes on to describe many more problems which we are facing. A google search will bring up multiple sources where you can watch the movie for free legally. I watched it for class and recommend it to everyone.
AmyMay 12, 2010 at 9:46 pm
I live in Texas and my daughter was born with gastrochisis in 1994. I felt very ashamed thinking I caused this to happen. I find relief in knowing someone is looking into this for past and future families, that may have to deal with the same issue. At the time this ruined my life. I hope you all can get these guys. We as people try to protect our children from harm and then to think our own commun[Show More]I live in Texas and my daughter was born with gastrochisis in 1994. I felt very ashamed thinking I caused this to happen. I find relief in knowing someone is looking into this for past and future families, that may have to deal with the same issue. At the time this ruined my life. I hope you all can get these guys. We as people try to protect our children from harm and then to think our own community may have caused the pain we went through.
DeanMarch 18, 2010 at 2:40 pm
I will be watching the outcome of this one very closely, i did publish something about the Atrazine link on the site i run (Gastroschisis.co.uk) a few months back. We will see if this has any correlation of anything we can do here in the UK.
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