Bumblebee Linens

Nearly 2,000 communities in the United States will be eligible for money to filter atrazine, a popular weedkiller, from their drinking water.
Syngenta, a Swiss chemical company, recently announced a proposed $105 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit brought by communities in six Midwestern U.S. states who claimed that atrazine — one of the most widely used herbicides in the nation — had contaminated their drinking water.
The plaintiffs, representing 16 communities in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Ohio, asked for money to cover the cost of installing treatment systems to filter out the weed-killing chemical, which has been used since 1959 in the United States, primarily in areas growing corn, sorghum, and sugar cane.
The lawsuit, filed in 2010 in U.S. district court in Illinois, alleged that Syngenta designed, marketed, and sold atrazine “knowing that it would contaminate public water supplies when used as intended,” according to Bloomberg BNA.
In a 2010 article in The Huffington Post, Stephen Tillery, attorney for the plaintiffs, said that the 16 cities which brought the lawsuit had spent roughly $350 million to filter atrazine from their water. In a recent press release, Tillery indicated that the 300 water systems with the highest contamination levels would recover 100 percent of their costs.
In 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set a limit regulating atrazine in drinking water to no more than 3 parts per billion, measured as an annual average. This is equal to approximately three drops of the chemical in an Olypmic-sized swimming pool.
The European Union, in sharp contrast, banned atrazine in 2004.
Though an EPA review of the atrazine’s effect on human health and the environment, which started 2009, has not yet been completed, numerous other studies have linked the chemical with hormonal imbalances and sexual irregularities in frogs and fish. These irregularities were shown to result in, among other things, males lluwho produce eggs.