|Tyrone B. Hayes|
|Born||Tyrone B. Hayes
July 29, 1967
Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.
|Education||PhD (1993, Berkeley), BA (1989, Harvard)|
Tyrone B. Hayes (born July 29, 1967 in Columbia, South Carolina) is a biologist at University of California, Berkeley. He is perhaps best known for his research demonstrating that the herbicide atrazine is a potent endocrine disruptor that demasculinizes and feminizes frogs. He is also an advocate for critical review and regulation of pesticides and other chemicals that may cause adverse health effects. He is particularly concerned about the role of environmental chemical contaminants in global amphibian declines and their role in the health disparities that occur in minority and low income populations.
Education and career
Born in Columbia, South Carolina, Hayes spent his childhood studying frogs and lizards and won a state science fair with research that showed anole licards had to be awake to change color. After graduating from Harvard, Hayes was a "technician and freelance consultant" from 1990-1992 for a Tiburon, California based Biosystems, Inc. Hayes has held an academic appointment (professorship) at the University of California, Berkeley since completing his doctoral research there in 1992; He was hired as a graduate student instructor in 1992, became an assistant professor in 1994, associate professor in 2000, and professor in 2003 in the Department of Integrative Biology, Molecular Toxicology, Group in Endocrinology, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley. In August 2013, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that funding for Hayes' laboratory was cut by the university.
For one year, from 1999 to 2000, Hayes served as 'senior scientist' to Sokoke, Inc in El Cerrito, California. Hayes was owner and co-founder of Sokoke, Inc, a company he co-founded with his wife and an unnamed "lawyer" partner to commercialize assays systems he developed while at the University of California Berkeley.
In 1997, the consulting firm EcoRisk, Inc. of Ferndale, Washington paid Hayes to produce a contract study for Novartis (later Syngenta) of the weedkiller, Atrazine. Hayes unexpectedly found effects in model organism Xenopus laevis. Before starting the work, Hayes stated he concerned that if he did the work that he would be perceived as "paid off" if the results were negative. In the end, that was not the case, as atrazine proved to be a potent endocrine disruptor. Hayes' made the data public, resigned from the scientific panel and ended his relationship with EcoRisk.
In 2002, Nature published research by Hayes and colleagues showing that "developing male frogs exhibited female characteristics after exposure to atrazine ... at exposure levels deemed safe by the United States Environmental Protection Agency." More recently, Hayes has been a co-author on work that details atrazine inducing mammary and prostate cancer in laboratory rodents and highlights atrazine as a potential cause of reproductive cancers in humans. This work shows that every scientist who has studied atrazine finds adverse effects on reproduction. The only scientists that do not, are those paid by the manufacturer, Syngenta. Court-released documents reveal that Syngenta's scientific agenda was to "discredit Hayes".
According to Hayes, "the induction of aromatase and estrogen production has been demonstrated... in fish, frogs, alligators, birds, turtles, rats and human cells.", and further, "I believe that the preponderance of the evidence shows atrazine to be a risk to wildlife and humans. I would not want to be exposed to it, nor do I think it should be released into the environment." Syngenta has fought his research by quoting EPA findings regarding methodological problems in his research, which Hayes refutes. In 2007, the EPA's review of science literature concluded against claims made by Hayes and concluded its evaluation by stating: "At this time, EPA believes that no additional testing is warranted to address this issue." The EPA statement, however, contradicts the recommendation of the panel, which originally included Syngenta's paid contract scientist, Kloas Werner. The agency discontinued studies of the chemical; The New York Times wrote, "Dr. (Suzanne) Fenton says she is no longer working on atrazine. Other E.P.A. employees also said they had been encouraged to redirect their energies to other chemicals, because of insufficient resources and competing priorities."
Research published by Hayes and other scientists was used as evidence in a class action lawsuit against Syngenta by 15 water providers in Illinois that was settled for 105 million dollars in May 2012. A similar case involving six states is in federal court.
Hayes has been profiled for his advocacy around environmental chemical contaminants (including pesticides), specifically the herbicide atrazine, is an endocrine disrupting chemical responsible for a wide range of health and environmental problems. Hayes' advocacy extended to issuing sexually explicit and threatening emails to employees of atrazine-manufacturer Syngenta in response to carefully planned and executed long-term attacks on Hayes' personal and professional life which included (according to Syngenta's meeting notes) hiring someone to edit a Wikipedia page on Hayes.
- Hayes work was featured in the 2008 documentary film Flow: For Love of Water.
- Hayes appeared in the 2012 documentary film Saving the Oasis and stated that atrazine is an endocrine disrupting chemical linked to demasculinization and feminization in amphibians and by extension other health and fertility issues for humans.
- Hayes was a biologist on Public Broadcasting Service, National Geographic Strange Days, where he expressed his concerns for human health, particularly that of minority and low-paid workers exposure to agricultural chemicals.
- Hayes is a National Geographic Society Explorer.
- Tyrone Hayes biography, Science Makers Video Archives, March 10, 2011
- Slater, Dashka (2012). "The Frog of War". Mother Jones (January/February).
- Tyrone Hayes Curriculum Vita, Atrazine Lovers Website, accessed August 2013
- Basken, Paul, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 14, 2013, accessed August 23, 2013
- Hayes, Tyrone B., et al., Atrazine induces complete feminization and chemical castration in male African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis), PNAS 2010 ; March 1, 2010, doi:10.1073/pnas.0909519107, accessed August 23, 2013
- Dalton, Rex (2010). "E-mails spark ethics row". Nature 466 (7309): 913. doi:10.1038/466913a. PMID 20725013.
- Fan, W.; T. Yanase, H. Morinaga, S. Gondo, T. Okabe, M. Nomura, T. Komatsu, K.I. Morohashi, T.B. Hayes (2007). "Atrazine-Induced Aromatase Expression is SF-1 Dependent: Implications for Endocrine Disruption in Wildlife and Reproductive Cancers in Humans". Environmental Health Perspectives 115 (5): 720–727. doi:10.1289/ehp.9758. PMC 1867956. PMID 17520059.
- Exhibit 19, part1, SourceWatch, accessed August 23, 2013
- Randall Amster (March 19, 2010). "Silent Spring Has Sprung". Truthout.
- Hormone Disruptors Linked To Genital Changes and Sexual Preference, National Public Radio, Living on Earth, January 7, 2011.
- Dennis D. Riley; Bryan E. Brophy-Baermann (2006). Bureaucracy and the Policy Process: Keeping the Promises. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 126–. ISBN 978-0-7425-3811-5. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
- Atrazine Updates: Amphibians Status Update, U.S.EPA January 2013, accessed August 23, 2013
- Duhigg, Charles, Debating How Much Weed Killer Is Safe in Your Water Glass, August 22, 2009, accessed August 23, 2013
- City of Greenville v. Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., and Syngenta AG Case No. 3:10-cv-00188-JPG-PMF, accessed August 23, 2013
- Tillery planning to file new litigation involving atrazine, Madison County Record, June 19, 2013, accessed August 23, 2013
- Entine, Jon, Frog Day Afternoon: Choose Science Over Politics to Conserve the Endangered Amphibian Population, Huffington Post, April 26, 2011.
- Howard, Clare, Special Report: Syngenta's campaign to protect atrazine, discredit critics, Environmental Health News, June 17, 2013, accessed August 23, 2013
- Collins, Cyn, Film note: All dried up, Twin Cities Daily Planet, July 31, 2008, accessed August 23, 2013
- Saving the Oasis website, accessed August 23, 2013
- "Tyrone Hayes, PhD.". Strange Days, Biographies. Public Broadcasting System. 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2013. "I am concerned about the adverse impacts of Atrazine on endangered species and on racial/ethnic minorities. Prostate and breast cancer are two of the top causes of death in Americans age 25-40, but in particular Black and Hispanic Americans are several times more likely to die from these diseases. Ethnic minorities and people of low income are also more likely to hold the "unskilled" laborer positions in agriculture and pesticide production that would put them at higher risk of exposure and are least likely to have access to the emerging science demonstrating the dangers of exposure. Thus, this environmental and public health issue is also a racial/social justice issue because minority and working class people are the primary targets of pesticide exposure."
- Tyrone Hayes Biologist/Herpetologist , National Geographic, 2013, accessed August 23, 2013
- The Atrazine Rap, part of a scientific lecture in rhyme.