Atrazine effects on humans

Atrazine is an endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) and as such can interfere with the cells of the human body. It can disrupt hormone levels, the cardiovascular system of a human, as well as causing cancer.

Humans are more at risk from exposure to atrazine if they are reliant on ground water for drinking water and live in an agricultural area which uses atrazine for crops.

Atrazine in water

Atrazine is soluble in water to a concentration of 30 mg/litre at 20°C. It can be found in groundwater in areas where atrazine has been used. It is also found in drinking water, where there is insufficient water treatment to remove it.

It persists in nature following agricultural application and needs to be removed from groundwater and water sources. It will not biodegrade on its own.

Does GAC remove atrazine?

Granular activated carbon does remove atrazine until it is saturated. Once saturated, it needs to be regenerated off-site, which entails stopping the process while the media is removed and replaced with fresh GAC.

The carbon footprint of using GAC is surprisingly high due to the off-site regeneration. This was the driving force behind development of Nyex Rosalox – to create a water treatment process as effective as GAC but which could be regenerated simultaneously in-situ to enable continual treatment.

If you want to learn more about the carbon cost of GAC:

Does ozone remove atrazine?

Ozone is an effective treatment process to remove atrazine from water, but it does come with very high capital and operational costs. Ozone has to be generated on-site, which can be a challenge for your COSHH team. On top of that, the maintenance of an ozone water treatment reactor is high due to the fine ozone nozzles getting clogged with sludge.

If you have a large problem with EDCs like atrazine, then it can be a sensible choice. If you are looking for a viable alternative, then you could look at Nyex Rosalox.

Endrocine distupting chemicals?

Endocrine disrupting chemicals are persistent in water after multiple treatments. The two recognised methods of removing EDCs from water are adsorption and ozone treatment.These have been briefly discussed above but you could also look here for more information on these technologies

Fraser Morgan

Water Treatment Consultant

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