Ban on non-agricultural uses of atrazine and simazine

Atrazine and simazine, the pesticides which most commonly exceed EC limits in UK drinking water supplies, have been banned from use on non-crop land. But the decision may not remove the threat to drinking waters because roughly the same amount of the compounds is used in agriculture.

The ban was announced by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) in April. It will be viewed as a precedent in that it is the first substantial regulatory decision to be influenced directly by the need to comply with the 1980 EC Directive on drinking water quality rather than by conventional toxicological considerations.

Simazine and atrazine have been used widely as non-specific herbicides by local authorities, British Rai

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