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Observations placeholder

Phytoremediation of atrazine by three emergent hydrophytes in a hydroponic system



Type of Spiritual Experience


Atrazine is a herbicide of the triazine class. It is used to prevent pre- and postemergence broadleaf weeds in crops such as maize (corn) and sugarcane and on turf, such as golf courses and residential lawns. It is one of the most widely used herbicides in US and Australian agriculture. It was banned in the European Union in October 2003, when the EU found groundwater levels exceeding the limits set by regulators, and Syngenta could neither show that this could be prevented nor that these levels were safe.

As of 2001, atrazine was the most commonly detected pesticide contaminating drinking water in the United States. Studies suggest it is an endocrine disruptor, an agent that can alter the natural hormonal system.

In 2006 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had stated that under the Food Quality Protection Act "the risks associated with the pesticide residues pose a reasonable certainty of no harm", and in 2007, the EPA said that atrazine does not adversely affect amphibian sexual development and that no additional testing was warranted. EPA's 2009 review concluded that "the agency's scientific bases for its regulation of atrazine are robust and ensure prevention of exposure levels that could lead to reproductive effects in humans". EPA started a registration review in 2013


Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) is a flowering plant belonging to the family Lythraceae. It should not be confused with other plants sharing the name loosestrife that are members of the family Primulaceae. Other names include spiked loosestrife, or purple lythrum

A description of the experience

Water Sci Technol. 2012;66(6):1282-8. doi: 10.2166/wst.2012.320.
Phytoremediation of atrazine by three emergent hydrophytes in a hydroponic system.
Wang Q1, Zhang W, Li C, Xiao B.
Author information
1Beijing Research & Development Center for Grass and Environment, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, China. qinghaiw@sina.com

A hydroponic system was used to evaluate atrazine (ATZ) removal and uptake by three emergent hydrophytes, Iris pseudacorus, Lythrum salicaria and Acorus calamus, determining their potential as phytoremediation agents for ATZ-contaminated water.

After 20 days of exposure, the relative growth rate of plants in sterile conditions was less than in natural conditions. ATZ amount in a culture solution planted with emergent plants decreased significantly compared with an unplanted solution, and the removal rate of ATZ in natural conditions was greater than in sterile conditions (p < 0.05).

The degradation contributions of I. pseudacorus, L. salicaria and A. calamus were 75.6, 65.5 and 61.8%, respectively. Those of the corresponding microbial population in the solution were 5.4, 11.4 and 17.4%, respectively.

Emergent plants play a dominant role in reducing the ATZ level in the water body and could be used as phytoremediation agents.
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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