Chemicals in the Water that Turn the Frogs Gay

“I don’t like ’em [the government] putting chemicals in the water that turn the freakin’ frogs gay!”

Alex Jones (2015)

A funny quote to some- a wild rant to others; is there any truth to what Jones says?

Government Approval

Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved its continued use in October 2003, that same month the European Union (EU) announced a ban of atrazine because of ubiquitous and unpreventable water contamination.

Sass (2006)

The EPA has said that atrazine does not adversely affect amphibian sexual development and that no additional testing was warranted.

Interestingly, the EPA has ignored research multiple times that had the opinion that atrazine was harmful.

Background

The herbicide atrazine is one of the most commonly applied pesticides in the world. Approximately 80 million pounds are applied annually in the United States alone, and atrazine is the most common pesticide contaminant of ground and surface water.

USGS (2011)

Chemically Induced Homosexuality

Some of these males [frogs] actually showed … what we would call homosexual behavior: they actually preferred to mate with other males.

PhD Tyrone Hayes
Figure 4

Hayek (2010) demonstrates the reproductive consequences of atrazine exposure in adult amphibians.

Atrazine-exposed males were both demasculinized (chemically castrated) and completely feminized as adults. Ten percent of the exposed genetic males developed into functional females that copulated with unexposed males and produced viable eggs.


Effects on Humans?

Any atrazine that is washed from the soil into streams and other bodies of water will stay there for a long time, because breakdown of the chemical is slow in rivers and lakes. It will also persist for a long time in groundwater. This is one reason why atrazine is commonly found in the water collected from drinking water wells in some agricultural regions.

ATSDR (2003)

Atrazine exposure is highly correlated with low sperm count, poor semen quality, and impaired fertility in humans

Atrazine has also been shown to cause changes in blood hormone levels in animals that affected the ability to reproduce. Some of the specific effects observed in animals are not likely to occur in occur in humans because of biological differences between humans and these types of animals. However, atrazine may affect the reproductive system in humans by a different mechanism. Atrazine also caused liver, kidney, and heart damage in animals; it is possible that atrazine could cause these effects in humans, although this has not been examined.

We don’t know the full effects of these pesticides we are daily consuming.

Image result for gay frogs

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