New report from the US Geological Survey:
Commonly Used Atrazine Herbicide Adversely Affects Fish Reproduction
Atrazine, one of the most commonly used herbicides in the world, has been shown to affect reproduction of fish, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study.
“Concentrations of atrazine commonly found in agricultural streams and rivers caused reduced reproduction and spawning, as well as tissue abnormalities in laboratory studies with fish,” said USGS scientist Donald Tillitt, the lead author of the study published in Aquatic Toxicology.
Fathead minnows were exposed to atrazine at the USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center in Columbia, Mo., and observed for effects on egg production, tissue abnormalities and hormone levels. Fish were exposed to concentrations ranging from zero to 50 micrograms per liter of atrazine for up to 30 days. All tested levels of exposure are less than the USEPA Office of Pesticides Aquatic Life Benchmark of 65 micrograms per liter for chronic exposure of fish. Thus, substantial reproductive effects were observed in this study at concentrations below the USEPA water-quality guideline.
Study results show that normal reproductive cycling was disrupted by atrazine and fish did not spawn as much or as well when exposed to atrazine. Researchers found that total egg production was lower in all atrazine-exposed fish, as compared to the non-exposed fish, within 17 to 20 days of exposure. In addition, atrazine-exposed fish spawned less and there were abnormalities in reproductive tissues of both males and females.
Read entire press release.
Research findings found here.