Thursday, August 30, 2012

Atrazine Crazy! Welcome to Cancer Nation!

One thing about this country is it's nuts about beautifully lush green lawns. Trouble is, you are warned not to recline on them or let kids play on them. Why? Often because atrazine or some other weed killer has been dispersed. People, like me, who have gotten cancer, don't simply believe the rot we brought it on ourselves - say from eating too many of the wrong foods. Often, it's because of all the toxins in our environment.

Most Americans, cocooned as they are from real news and information, would literally shit bricks if they knew the extent to which they were being poionsed by their corporate Overseers. Hey, maybe that's the corporations way to dumb us all down or....maybe thin our numbers! Induce 548,000 cancers a year then make the bozos think it's their foods that are responsible. Don't eat that hot dog! It's got nitrites and you''ll get cancer! (Just move along, never mind that toxic chemical salesman trying to sell atrazine over there).

And atrazine is another horrific carcinogen used in most weedicides. Though people are led to believe the stuff is as innocent as some water lilies...and hey, your kids can still roll around on the lawn after you spray it. Yeah right! Just be sure if you do that you take out special cancer only insurance policies! Nopers, my lawn doesn't look as green and lush as the neighbors'. Weeds, dandelions especially, sprout all over the place. I try to manually keep them under control (carefully removing dandelion "poppers" or seeder -hase balls) but that's about all.

But what I will not do, no matter how much better the lawn would look, is spray some shit with atrazine all over it! At least I can sit down on my lawn or even stretch out, even among the weeds, something two of my neighbors across the street dare not do...if they have a grain of sense!

Atrazine is a synthetic chemical that belongs to the triazine class of herbicides. The technical name is 2-chloro-4-ethylamino-6-isopropyl-1,3,5 triazine. In the U.S. farmers alone apply nearly 65 million pounds of the stuff per year. Yes, most degrades in the environment, but not before it's re-applied and ends up on fruits and veggies at your grocery.

The EPA itself permits up to 3 parts per billion of it, which the toxic industry people will tell you is "low dose and low risk" . What they won't say is that low dose exposure over long times, often leads to high risk. Well, don't take my word. Ask the 14 employees at Sygenta's St. Gabriel, LA plant who developed prostate cancer after ten years' exposure. This was out of 600 total employees, but the rate was still nine times higher than would be expected in the statewide population. (Discover, Feb. 2003, p. 53)

Here's the primary thing to understand about atrazine: It contaminates water even in states that it's not used! Hell, in Switzerland, where it's banned (my Swiss friend Rolf tells me it's listed as a carcinogen) atrazine is present at 1 part per billion even in the Alps. The effect on amphibians is especially pronounced with the ability of the chemical to convert exposed male frogs into females. In terms of human newborns, in the states with the highest use (IL, IN, IA), there is a notable risk of birth defects, including hypospadia in male infants.

What may be remarkable is there aren't more birth defects and cancers pervading the country. But then, who knows? A TIME article barely a year ago did note the appearance of "accidentoplasms" - newly found cancers - uncovered in patients who had MRIs for some other reason. It was estimated by that writer that if all these accidential neoplasms were actually treated the health care budget would explode by nearly a factor of two. Then there is the other fact that most men are harboring prostate cancers, and they don't even know it. How many of these were from exposure to excess levels of atrazine? We don't know, but I guess those guys can be thankful most prostate cancers are slow growing.

The next 'Stand up To Cancer' musical extravaganza and fund raiser is scheduled for September 7th. There will be a huge hue and cry for all of us "to do something" to halt cancer in all its forms. What I will be waiting to see is whether they highlight the toxic chemical industry in any way, shape or form and call for new toxic release inventories. While the current ad banners loudly blare 'Let's END cancer!', that won't be realized until we bring the toxic chemical purveyors to heel.

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