Atrazine Human Health Assessment
MDH completed a human health assessment of the herbicide atrazine. This assessment was conducted at the request of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) to support MDA’s special registration review of atrazine. The atrazine review is part of a larger process initiated by MDA to select and review pesticides and, if necessary, consider additional state-specific restrictions, limitations on use as a condition of registration, or registration without state-specific restrictions. MDA selected atrazine as the first pesticide to go through this registration review process. MDH’s participation in the atrazine review was in addition to the Department’s on-going efforts to develop and establish Health Risk Limits for atrazine in groundwater.
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MDH’s human health assessment was also posted on the MDA website as part of the MDA registration review summary and other supporting documentation:
Comments on these documents were accepted by MDA for 60 days, ending on March 19, 2010. Many parties, including the atrazine registrant Syngenta and three environmental/public interest groups, commented on specific aspects of MDH’s human health assessment.
After considering public comments along with scientific data published after release of the human health assessment, MDH determined that the review’s original conclusions and recommendations are appropriate. However, MDH’s atrazine evaluation process is dynamic, not static. MDH will continue to monitor water resources data, health and scientific literature, and the outcomes of on-going EPA efforts to reassess atrazine human health risks and may re-visit its conclusions and recommendations in the future.
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Atrazine remains a subject of active scientific research and review. MDH is committed to tracking emerging science to ensure that all relevant and available information on atrazine is evaluated on a continual basis. MDH recognizes that the conclusions reached in the human health assessment may need to be revisited if new research indicates that atrazine exposure results in human health risks of concern.
At the federal level, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also recently launched a new evaluation of atrazine:
Based on this evaluation, EPA will decide whether to revise its current atrazine risk assessments and whether new restrictions are necessary to better protect health and the environment. New information or interpretations that result from EPA’s review will also be considered by MDH within the context of its human health assessment.
New research may also result in a federal or MDH reevaluation of the current EPA drinking water standard for atrazine, which MDH has adopted as the state’s Health Risk Limit for atrazine. MDH will continue to partner with MDA to address any public health implications that may result from new research findings or changes to MDH’s current Health Risk Limit for atrazine:
For more information on the MDH Human Health Assessment for atrazine, see our Contact Health Risk Assessment information.
For more information on MDA’s special registration review process for atrazine:
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