Atrazine, one of the most commonly used and controversial weedkillers, can turn male frogs into females, researchers reported on Monday.
“Ten percent of the exposed genetic males developed into functional females that copulated with unexposed males and produced viable eggs,” the researchers wrote.
The European Union banned atrazine in 2004. The finding may add pressure to the United States to more closely regulate the chemical, used widely in agriculture.
“Approximately 80 million pounds (36,287 tonnes) are applied annually in the United States alone, and atrazine is the most common pesticide contaminant of ground and surface water,” the researchers wrote.