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Atrazine Exposure May Be Tied to Potentially Fatal Birth Defects, Research Suggests

EMSL Analytical tests for a variety of substances in our industrial hygiene and indoor air quality laboratories nationwide.


According to Med Page Today, researchers have discovered that exposure to a common weed killer, atrazine, during pregnancy may increase the risk of a child being born with the uncommon nasal birth defects choanal atresia or stenosis.

In an observational study conducted at the University of Texas, researchers found that women who were exposed to high levels of herbicide at home were nearly twice as likely to have a child born with one of these birth defects.

Atrazine is a popular herbicide used throughout the United States. Most individuals are exposed due to their close proximity to farms, rather than through household use of the pesticide.

In other studies, atrazine was linked to various health conditions including gastroschisis, spina bifida, cleft lip, limb reduction defects, urogenital defects, and congenital heart defects.

Choanal atresia and stenosis may be life-threatening because the back of the nasal passage becomes blocked during an infant’s development and causes difficulty breathing. Typically, the birth defects are discovered at birth, but the child must undergo multiple surgeries to normalize breathing.

“Atrazine is typically used to spray crops on farms; therefore, individuals living on or near farms should be cautious of inhaling this compound,” states Scott Van Etten, National Director of Industrial Hygiene at EMSL. “EMSL Analytical is the nation’s leading industrial hygiene and indoor air quality laboratory and provides testing for toxic substances, including atrazine, in homes and buildings to ensure individuals’ safety.”

For more information on EMSL’s testing services, please contact EMSL at (800) 220-3675, visit, or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is the nation’s leading testing laboratory with over 30 locations throughout the United States and Canada. We are a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in consumer product, environmental, industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, microbiology, radon, food, and materials testing services to professionals and the general public. Please visit our website for a complete listing of accreditations from leading organizations, as well as state and federal regulating bodies.



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