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The Effects of Atrazine Application to the Environment. By: Perry Loken, Tim Weisbrod, Nick Taylor, Sara Schmidt

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The Effects of Atrazine Application to the Environment. By: Perry Loken, Tim Weisbrod, Nick Taylor, Sara Schmidt. What is Atrazine?. Atrazine is a 6-carbon S-chlorotriazine. Atrazine is the most widely used S-triazine. Other S-triazines used as herbicides are Symazine and cyromazine.

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The Effects of Atrazine Application to the Environment.By: Perry Loken, Tim Weisbrod, Nick Taylor, Sara Schmidt
what is atrazine
What is Atrazine?
  • Atrazine is a 6-carbon S-chlorotriazine.
  • Atrazine is the most widely used S-triazine.
  • Other S-triazines used as herbicides are Symazine and cyromazine.
  • Atrazine is not very volatile, reactive or flammable but dissolves readily in water.
how atrazine is released into the environment
How Atrazine is released into the environment.
  • Atrazine is a selective herbicide used primarily in the agriculture industry
  • Atrazine is primarily applied to corn, sorghum and sugar cane.
  • Atrazine is a Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP).
amounts of atrazine released into the environment
Amounts of Atrazine released into the environment.
  • In 1993 the total amount of atrazine used in the whole country was 35,000 tons.
  • Atrazine usage have been increasing steadily since the 1960’s to the current level of 70,000-90,000 tons per year.
  • Environmental levels of atrazine in countries that use it average 5ug/L
how atrazine works
How Atrazine Works
  • Atrazine was designed to block photosynthesis.
  • Crop plants are able to detoxify the atrazine.
  • Atrazine works well as both a pre- and post emergent herbicide.
why atrazine may be a threat to the environment
Why Atrazine may be a threat to the environment
  • The complete effects of Atrazine’s ability to block normal functions of plants and animals (expecially humans) is unknown.
  • Atrazine is being found in surface and drinking water reserves in areas of atrazine use
  • It takes considerable time to biodegrade out of the an aqueous system.
  • Because of our extensive reliance on herbicides.
atrazine in the soil
Atrazine in the soil
  • Degradation effects of Atrazine while it is in the soil.
    • Microbial degradation is the principle mechanism.
    • The kinetics is based on the nitrogen avalibility in the soil.
application history
Application history
  • Two types of fields
    • Adapted
      • Has had atrazine applied on a consistent basis.
    • Non-adapted
      • Has not had atrazine applied to the soil.
nitrogen rich soils
Nitrogen rich soils
  • Nitrogen rich soils contain nitrogen molecules that are easier for the microbial to break down.
    • So Atrazine will be less likely attacked.
    • If nitrogen is deficient, then Atrazine would be a source of nitrogen for the microbial.
movement through the soil
Movement through the soil
  • Clay and silty soil
    • Movement is limited to soil layers of minimal depth.

Sandy soil movement reaches depths greater than clay and silty soil.

atrazine in the air
Atrazine in the air
  • Highest Concentration is in Summer, Lowest Concentration is in Winter
  • Remains in the air more in enclosed areas
atrazine run off to surface water
Atrazine run-off to surface water
  • In the spring Atrazine levels are highest.
  • Most of the Atrazine in the soil eventually runs off into surface water.
  • Once in surface water it can be transported long distances before it has time to degrade.
atrazine s effect on animals
Atrazine’s effect on animals
  • Once in surface water, atrazine is in direct contact with many species which drink or live in the water.
  • Atrazine does not bioaccumulate up the food chain.
  • The major effects of atrazine on animals are: Endocrine/Reproductive effects and Neurological effects
endocrine and reproductive effects
Endocrine and Reproductive Effects
  • Atrazine disrupts pregnancy by inhibiting normal ovulatory surges.
  • Which include a release in luteinizing hormone (LH), Prolactin (PRL) and testosterone (in males).
  • Also atrazine has been known to cause detoxification problems.
nerveous system problems
Nerveous system problems
  • Atrazine effects the Purkije cells of the nerveous system.
  • Cellular activity is lowered by 50% in 60 minutes.
  • The exact mechanism of this is unknown.
  • Atrazine causes motor disorders in animals.
human exposure
Human Exposure
  • 2-3 million people are exposed
  • 0.2 ppb exposed to in drinking water
  • Minimal amounts from food
chemical affects
Chemical Affects
  • Atrazine has aromatic activities
    • Estrogen levels reduce
      • Underlying reason for hormonal disruption and tumor promoting properties
the future
The Future
  • Womb Exposure
    • Suffer permanent brain defects
  • Breast Feeding Exposure
  • Sonora, Mexico
  • Compared preschoolers that were exposed to Atrazine to the students that were not.
  • Differences is:
    • Hand-eye coordination
    • Metal and Physical skills
long term exposure
Long Term Exposure
  • Increase Risk of Ovarian Cancer
  • Increase Risk of Breast Cancer
  • Increase Infertility
  • Increase Reproductive Disorder
modeling with stella
Modeling with Stella
  • Model Logic
  • Method to find Atrazine sink
  • Predict environmental degradation
  • Compare soil, Air, Water degradation
  • Interpretation of Stella
atrazine in soil
Atrazine In Soil
  • Outflows
    • Biological Degradation, Half-life 42.5 days
    • Erosion, 55% immediately lost
    • Evaporation, Half-life 97 days
  • Inflows
    • Application of 34 million kg
    • Condensation from Air
atrazine in air
Atrazine In Air
  • Inflows
    • Evaporation, Half Life 97 days
    • initial applicationspraying
  • Outflows
    • Oxidation, Half life 0.11 Days
    • Photodegradation, Half life 0.796 days
    • Condensation
    • Take into account 30% of Earth land
atrazine in water
Atrazine In Water
  • Inflows
    • Erosion, 55%
    • Condensation, F(x) of Air
  • Outflows
    • Sedimentation, Half life 14 days
    • Aquatic Degradation, Half life 3.2 days
    • Ingestion
water as the sink
Water as the Sink
  • Air is not:Degradation less than 1 day
  • Soil, initially a sink, long run NO
  • The Data suggest that water is the sink
    • the sink is draining, does not acumulate
    • Warning: decrease with one application after years steady increase
degradation routes
Degradation Routes
  • Air initial spike degrades quickly
  • Water Spikes later and degrades slower
  • Soil initial spike but degrades out
future projection
Future Projection
  • Projected to 2020
  • It can be seen that it would take until 2012 or 22 years to be nearly rid of Atrazine
  • Indicates steadily rising levels of ATR over time with yearly application
  • Atrazine Movement Through the Environment
    • Begins with application, mainly crops
stella agreement
Stella Agreement
  • Stella agrees with the literature in that atrazine does not persist relatively long in the environment
  • Stella is also in agreement in terms of water being the final sink.
  • It then works its way to the water supply, by runoff and other mechaisms
  • then it follows tributaries and streams
  • Ends up in Large rivers, Lakes and Oceans
  • Banning atrazine would decrease the environmental problem but could increase health and environmental risks.
  • Corn and Sorghum crop yields would be reduced.
  • The banning would increase the use of atrazine alternatives, which are less well understood.
  • A better plan might be to find alternative methods of crop management in order to get the best yeilds with the smallest amount of pesticides.