Earlier this month the St. Petersburg Times reported that the most commonly used fungicide in the U.S. is highly lethal to frogs, and perhaps other wildlife. Chlorothalonil is in the same family of organochlorines as DDT, which was eventually banned in the U.S. because of its impacts on humans and wildlife.
According to a new peer reviewed study conducted by University of South Florida researchers the amount of chlorothalonil being dumped onto farms and golf courses across the state was enough to poison almost 90 percent of the frogs they tested. A double dose killed them all.
Chlorothalonil is made by Syngenta, a Swiss pesticide manufacturer that also makes atrazine, the most commonly used herbicide in the U.S. and a well-known frog-killing chemical. Defenders has joined forces with other environmental groups to make sure that atrazine and other dangerous pesticides do not threaten imperiled salmon populations.
Atrazine has been associated with severe health problems for humans, including birth defects and other reproductive problems for both men and women. Amphibian studies have shown that atrazine can stimulate estrogen production and cause male frogs to exhibit female characteristics that adversely affect reproductive health. These studies are important because frogs have similar vital systems to humans. Yet EPA maintains that no additional testing is needed.
Save the Frogs Day is just around the corner on April 29, so come celebrate in DC. A group of frog advocates will be gathering at the steps of the Environmental Protection Agency to raise awareness and push for a ban on atrazine.