Atrazine is a herbicide (weed killer) that is used to control weeds in corn fields and other agricultural use sites. Atrazine has been in used in Wisconsin for over 50 years and can enter Wisconsin's groundwater as a result of use on farm fields or from a spill or improper disposal.
Wisconsin has established a groundwater enforcement standard for atrazine and its three chlorinated metabolites of 3 parts per billion. People who drink water containing atrazine in excess of this level for many years could experience problems with their cardiovascular system, reproductive difficulties, and other health problems. The EPA is also concerned that atrazine may be an endocrine disruptor, which can cause unintentional hormone-like activity in the body. EPA classifies atrazine as “not likely to be carcinogenic" to humans. Drinking water that contains atrazine at low levels will not cause immediate sickness or health problems.
Atrazine Prohibition Areas
A listing of counties in Wisconsin with atrazine prohibition areas.
Laws are in place to protect groundwater from contamination by pesticides and fertilizers at levels above health-based standards.
Creating an Atrazine Prohibition Area
Well testing, public hearings, and legislative review are three of the seven steps taken when creating a prohibition area.
Use Restrictions and Applications Rates
There are restrictions in place to protect Wisconsin's ground and surface water supply.
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