That stuff in your drinking water could be detected if we applied a little green tech. Sensors, digitally linked, could alert water drinkers in Ohio, Texas, Florida, Maryland and other atrazine-rich habitat. "Atrazine alert," it could say, "drink something else for a while." Real-time monitoring of public drinking water is perfectly within our capability right now. It would probably cost a fraction of what we now spend on treating pollution-induced cancers. But first we have to decide whether it matters, or we can simply just continue to pretend everything's OK? Drink in that atrazine, the cosmetics, the prescritpion drugs, the painter thinner. Somebody must be paying attention, right? Well, in lllinois they're starting to find out what they're drinking.Today there's a report on how this weed-killer, atrazine, is often found in drinking water. And how it's more often not even tested for. Many local water districts test annually. ATRAZINE Atrazine is a weed killer made by Syngenta, a U.S. chemical firm. Here's what Syngenta has to say about their star product, it's "one of the triazine family of herbicides — to fight weeds in corn, grain sorghum, sugar cane and other crops. And for good reason: it's still one of the most effective, affordable and trusted products in agriculture today. Syngenta believes in atrazine, its effectiveness, its safety, its importance to agriculture - in the U.S. and worldwide." Right there on their website Syngenta assures us their product is never a health problem in the drinking water of our nation. What they don't say, is that EPA standards set an annual average. Thus daily variations often go well beyond healthy limits set by the EPA and they get ignored, go unreported. Drink up, Ohio. While the EPA seems oblivious to any serious atrazine probs, the CDC seems to think it's not a nice chemical. "Liver, kidney, and heart damage has been observed in animals exposed to atrazine; we do not know if this would also occur in humans...Available information is inadequate to definitely state whether atrazine causes cancer in humans. There are limited human and animal data that suggest that there may be a link between atrazine exposure and various types of cancer...Little information is available regarding the effects of atrazine in children." "Atrazine may be washed from fields where it is sprayed into streams and rivers or may migrate into wells used for drinking and bathing. In areas of high atrazine use, individuals should avoid swimming in or drinking from contaminated water sources and may desire to have personal well water tested for the presence of atrazine." In other words, we [the CDC] can't say it's dangerous, but act it like anyway. As for testing? This stuff is highly soluble so the contiamination will vary depending on application, rainfall, etc. How about some real-time monitoring. The hyrdrated version of a smart grid. ATRAZINE BANNED Did I mention that the European Union has now banned atrazine? Seems they deem it too dangerous for their drinking water. The research on atrazine dangers? Much of it was done in the U.S. Here's the wikipedia entry on atrazine complete with its complex organic formula.