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National Drinking Water Database
Desethylatrazine in Iowa
Desethylatrazine is a metabolite of the herbicide atrazine, an endocrine-disrupting herbicide used on corn, sugarcane and sorghum. [read more]
Desethyl atrazine (also called deethylatrazine) and desisopropylatrazine are compounds formed from the degradation of atrazine, a widely used nonselective herbicide applied to corn, sugarcane and sorghum.
Atrazine has an adverse effect on normal hormonal function in amphibians and mammals (reviewed in Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) 2009). There is strong evidence that atrazine disrupts a critical period of mammary gland growth, induces reproductive tract alterations, and impacts the timing of puberty (Rayner 2004, 2005, 2007; Enoch 2007). Atrazine is known to induce mammary tumors in rats, consistent with its action as a low-dose endocrine disruptor (WHO 2004a; Cooper 2007). Research from the Reproductive Toxicology Division of the Environmental Protection Agency found that atrazine and its metabolites act on the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal neuroendocrine pathway and cause significant, acute increases in circulating adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), corticosterone and progesterone (Powers Fraites 2009).
In humans, desethyl atrazine may reduce certain organ weights, particularly of the uterus and thymus in females, and may have harmful effects on heart function. Fetal exposure to desethyl atrazine may result in abnormal sexual and/or hormonal maturation (California Environmental Protection Agency Department of Pesticide Regulation 2008).
Around 580,000 lbs of atrazine, which forms desethyl atrazine upon decomposition, were released by the food and chemical industries in 2002 (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) 2009i).
The Most Polluted Communities in Iowa
2 water utilities reported detecting Desethylatrazine in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies
Ranked by highest average Desethylatrazine level
|Rank||System||Population Served||Positive test results of total reported tests||Average Level|
|1||Manchester Water Supply|
|5,257||1 of 1||0.1 ppb|
|2||Cedar Rapids Water Department|
Cedar Rapi, IA
|124,488||4 of 52||0.01 ppb|
(0 to 0.16 ppb)
Health Based Limits for Desethylatrazine
|Maximum Contaminant Limit (MCL)||The enforceable standard which defines the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to health-based limits (Maximum Contaminant Level Goals, or MCLGs) as feasible using the best available analytical and treatment technologies and taking cost into consideration. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.||3 ppb|
Violation Summary for Desethylatrazine in Iowa
There are no violations reported for this contaminant in Iowa