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Study links weed killer to reproductive problems

(Thursday, Sept. 19, 2002 -- CropChoice news) --

EMILY GREEN, L.A. Times, 09/17/02: A cocktail of the three most common herbicides used by about 29 million American households to kill dandelions may reduce fertility and cause miscarriages, according to a study published today in the toxicology journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

The results come as the Environmental Protection Agency prepares to review the licensing of one of the chemicals, now used in more than 1,500 lawn-care and agricultural products.

In the study, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Valparaiso in Chile spiked the drinking water of laboratory mice with weed killer, then charted the animals' reproductive rates. They found a 20% increase in failed pregnancies at extremely low doses—seven times lower than the maximum allowable rate for U.S. drinking water.