October 3, 2011


downstream: in or toward the latter stages of a usually industrial process (1).

"It's not just the dose that makes the poison and it's not just the timing that makes the poison; it's who you are that makes the poison (2)." In The New York Times article "Debating How Much Atrazine is Safe in Your Water Glass" this point is elaborated; "Recent studies suggest that, even at concentrations meeting current federal standards, the chemical (atrazine) may be associated with birth defects, low birth weights and menstrual problems. Laboratory experiments suggest that when animals are exposed to brief doses of atrazine before birth, they become more vulnerable to cancer (3)." Dr. Sandra Steingraber Ph.D, expert on the environmental links to cancer states, "the disconnect between what we in the scientific community know about carcinogens and what cancer patients are told is huge (4)." While multinational agri-chemical business targets scientist's who refute false claims of safety, over years bio-monitoring markers support claims of lethality at levels below federal standards for many chemicals used in non- organic commercial agriculture. Children in rural areas are most at risk (5).

"An investigation by The New York Times has found that in some towns, atrazine concentrations in drinking water have spiked, sometimes for longer than a month. But the reports produced by local water systems for residents often fail to reflect those higher concentrations (3)." This may explain how The Department of Water, County of Kauai Water Quality Report covering January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010 found the organic contaminants TTHM and HAA only....(3). TTHM and HAA are environmental pollutants that may cause an increased risk of cancer. The EPA
limits the total concentration as total trihalomethanes (TTHM), to 80 parts per billion in treated water. Waimea / Kekaha levels were TTHM (8ppb) and HAA (2ppb). First mentioned organic contaminants; inorganic contaminants also found were Cadmium (5ppb), Chromium (100ppb), Nitrate (10ppb). What was not found, yet was detected by the USDA in samples taken from student water drinking fountains at W.C.M.S. was the organic contaminant atrazine.

As part of the USDA's Pesticide Data Program, Waimea Canyon Middle School (W.C.M.S.) participated in the School Water Testing Project. With permission of the school's administration water samples (three 1-liter glass bottles) were collected from student drinking water fountains on campus. The samples were sent via Federal Express overnight to a laboratory for analysis. The USDA PDP covered all costs of analysis, sampling kits, and pre-paid shipping labels. It took roughly 90 days to receive results due to the number of analytes and the low levels being tested (6). USDA results detected atrazine which was not detected by The Department of Water, County of Kauai . The EPA MCL for atrazine is 3000 parts per trillion, 6parts per trillion was detected. In addition the atrazine metabolite desthyl atrazine was detected at 26ppt.

The purpose of the project is "to test drinking water from schools/childcare facilities........ for pesticide residues so that data may be used in risk assessments.

The EPA has launched a risk assessment into the effects of atrazine. The EPA announced that it is seeking public comment on a proposal to ban atrazine (7).

1. Merriam-Webster
2, 4. "Living Downstream"
"Debating How Much Weed Killer is Safe in Your Water Glass"
The Department of Water County of Kauai Water Quality Report
5. PANNA - "Follow the Science"
6. USDA:
A) Pesticide Data Program (PDP)
(B) School Water Testing Project

7. Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter; "EPA Seeks Comments on Proposed Atrazine Ban"

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