Global amphibians are declining rapidly. Concerned with the phenomenon, scientists are studying for long over the role of atrazine in it. According to biologists, it is the pollution from this common herbicide that might be leading to the stream salamanders’ die-offs.
True that the herbicide atrazine’s impact on the salamanders may not show up in short-term studies, the results suggest that even extremely low concentrations of the chemical may occur deadly to the amphibians in the long run.
Jason R. Rohr, research associate at the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment said,
We are concerned that most studies used to make pesticide registration decisions and to derive safe concentrations last for about four days. They often do not consider recovery processes, persistent effects of chemical exposure, or interactions among individuals within and between species that can affect our estimates of safe chemical concentrations.
In the United States, the pesticide Atrazine is one of the most widely used — and possibly in the world as well! To add to its hazards, the chemical is relatively long-lived. It is even found at the poles.
It is one of the most common contaminants in ground and surface water, according to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.