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Low levels of endocrine disruptors in the environment may cause sex reversal in female frogs


Many studies have been conducted on the dangers of endocrine disrupting chemicals that mimic or block estrogen, the primary female hormone. Now new research shows that similar harm can be done by chemicals that affect male hormones, or androgens.

Natural androgenic steroids excreted by humans and animals and synthetic androgenic steroids widely used in daily life and livestock are important androgenic endocrine disrupting chemicals because of their constant discharge into the aquatic environment via wastewater. A new Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry study shows that low environmentally-relevant concentrations of one such steroid, 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), can induce complete or incomplete sex reversal in female Pelophylax nigromaculatus, a type of dark-spotted frog.


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