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23 March 2011
New warning about pesticides' effects on male fertility
by George Atkinson

Spanish researchers say that 2-in-10 young men have poor sperm quality because of exposure to pesticides in food. The study, conducted at the University of Granada in Spain, concluded that exposure to organochlorides significantly altered semen quality and can result in delayed fertilization.

Study leader Clemente Aguilar said the original hypothesis was that organochlorine pesticides cause alterations in semen quality, as they alter homeostasis. The risk increases with exposure to different pesticides, even in low concentrations, he explained.

According to Aguilar, the most common means of exposure to pesticides among the general population is through food and other household products. All the sperm samples analyzed had at least one pesticide in considerable concentrations, and the average number of pesticides detected was 11. Most of the participants (62 percent) had residues of 10-14 different pesticides in the blood.

Interestingly, exposure to certain organochlorides increased total spermatic number and motility levels, but other pesticides had the adverse effect. Aguilar said there was a strong correlation between exposure to the fungicide vinclozolin and malformation rates in sperm.

"Foreseeing the final effect of pesticides on health is not easy, basically because we are exposed to multiple environmental pollutants that interact in different ways, making it difficult to foresee their final effect," Aguilar warns. He added that to reduce pesticide residue as much as possible, "it is very important to wash food with water and soap, as it cuts the surface greasy film of these products, which is the part containing more residues."

Common Pesticide Reduces Testosterone Levels
Sexual Maturity Delayed By Pesticide
Effects Of Lifestyle And The Environment On Fertility

Source: University of Granada

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