Atrazine reproductive issues reviewed

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Consistent patterns of reproductive problems were found in amphibians, fish, reptiles and mammals exposed to the herbicide atrazine, a U.S. researcher said.

Val Beasley, a University of Illinois professor emeritus, was part of an international team of scientists who reviewed evidence on atrazine in North and South America, Europe and Japan, the university said Monday. The report appears in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.


The review said atrazine is the second-most commonly used pesticide and the most common contaminant of groundwater, surface water and rain in the United States.

Beasley said at least 10 studies found exposure to atrazine feminizes male frogs, sometimes to the point of sex reversal.

The studies found atrazine exposure can change the expression of genes involved in hormone signaling, interfere with metamorphosis, inhibit key enzymes that control estrogen and androgen production, skew the sex ratio of wild and laboratory animals and otherwise disrupt the normal reproductive development and functioning of males and females.

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