Herbicides may disrupt hormones

Atrazine, a common weed killer used by farmers and some licensed lawncare companies, has long been suspected of causing sexual

Atrazine, a common weed killer used by farmers and some licensed lawncare companies, has long been suspected of causing sexual abnormalities in frogs and fish. Now, research from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) indicates it may alter hormonal signaling in human cells, too.

Using placental cells in culture, the scientists determined that Atrazine impacted the activity of genes associated with abnormal human birth weight and unexplained infertility. In parallel studies on zebrafish, higher Atrazine concentrations were linked to a two-fold increase in the proportion of female fish to male.

“You have to wonder about the long-term effects of exposing the rapidly developing fetus to atrazine or other endocrine disruptors,” says Holly Ingraham, a UCSF Professor of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology.

Not to mention the effects on children and adults!

Many Canadian municipalities and provinces have already instituted pesticide and herbicide bans, such as Quebec, Halifax, Toronto and many others. Ontario is also introducing anti-herbicide legislation. Unfortunately, farms are usually exempt from these bans.

My husband and I have been doing natural gardening at my house for years, but it’s definitely labour intensive. Still, I figure it burns more calories!

What about you?

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