Pesticide or Spermicide?
Frogs and men, beware: Pesticides are your enemy. Men exposed to pesticides commonly used on crops are far more likely to have defective sperm and low sperm counts than men who are not exposed, according to a study published yesterday in Environmental Health Perspectives. The study is the first to show a link between environmental toxins in men’s bodies and poor sperm count and quality. The study is also important because it involved men who did not work on or live next to farms, meaning they were most likely exposed to the pesticides through drinking water. Of the three pesticides tested — alachlor, diazinon, and atrazine — the latter (which is the most common one in the U.S.) is also to blame for sexual abnormality in frogs, according to the U.S. EPA. The agency called for more research to understand the exact impact of atrazine on the frogs; to date, different studies have shown that it results in multiple reproductive organs and hermaphroditism.