Baylor Studies Show Atrazine Has No Long-Term Effects on Aquatic Plant Life

Baylor Study


From Baylor University Media Communications

WACO, Texas (Sept. 3, 2015) — A recent study by a multi-disciplinary team of Baylor University researchers found that a popular herbicide does not appear to have a long-term, measurable impact on aquatic plant life.

The study—“Effects of pulsed atrazine exposure on autotropic community structure, biomass, and production in field-based stream mesocosms”—is published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

The study looked at atrazine, a common herbicide used to control weeds in corn and sorghum crops in large-scale farming operations, at the “level of concern” as identified by United States Environmental Protection Agency.

The study’s lead investigator on the study, Ryan S. King, Ph.D., professor of biology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, said this research is the first to address atrazine levels as they would “naturally occur in agricultural areas during rainfall runoff events.”

“Previous studies at this scale have almost exclusively performed static exposures; that is, added atrazine to the water at a constant rate such that the concentration stays the same over time. This does not occur in nature; hence our study using pulsed exposures is far more appropriate for assessing the effects of atrazine, or any pesticide for that matter, on aquatic life,” King said.

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