October 6, 2010
US EPA atrazine standard a watered down version of WHO’s new water level recommendations
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently recommended that the allowable concentration of atrazine in water be increased to 100 parts per billion, up from its previous two parts per billion standard.
The new WHO safety standard greatly exceeds the U.S. EPA mandate that water contain less than three parts per billion, which “activists groundlessly say is still too much,” points out ACSH’s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan. She also expresses her pleasant surprise at reading this report. “The fact that the WHO comes out and loosens the standard is truly amazing to me. I’m not used to reading news like this. They were following a scientific path — now the U.S. EPA should take lessons from WHO and do the same.”
The stringent U.S. requirements were implemented in light of an NRDC campaign launched against the EPA and backed by the work of one scientist — University of California, Berkeley biologist Tyrone Hayes — whose finding that atrazine harms frogs has not been replicated by any other lab and whose intemperate assertions have been widely discredited.