Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Water Resource Research

Volume

41

Issue

5

Publication Date

2005

First Page

1

Last Page

13

Abstract

This study provides an improved methodology for investigating the trade-offs between the health risks and economic benefits of using atrazine in the agricultural sector. Regression models are developed to predict finished water atrazine concentration in high-risk community water supplies in the US. The predicted finished water atrazine concentrations are then incorporated in a health risk assessment. The computed health risks are compared with total economic surplus in the US corn market for different atrazine application rates using estimated demand and supply functions. Analysis of different scenarios with consumer price premiums for chemical-free and reducedchemical corn indicate that banning the use of atrazine may have adverse economic impacts. However, if the society is willing to pay a price premium, risks can be reduced without a large reduction in the total economic surplus and net benefits may be higher. The results also show that this methodology provides an improved scientific framework for future decision-making and policy evaluation in pesticide management, especially when better regional and national data become available.

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