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Pesticides & "testicular dysgenesis" (male reproductive harm)

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New tests conducted by British scientists show that widely used agricultural pesticides disrupt male hormones, and may be contributing to a suite of reproductive disorders increasingly common among men.

Reduced sperm count, infertility and abnormal genitals are among the problems some scientists have dubbed “testicular dysgenesis syndrome.” This latest study greatly strengthens the evidence that these problems may be linked to environmental contaminants.

Released last week in Environmental Health Perspectives, the study found that 30 of the 37 pesticides tested blocked or mimicked male hormones. The 37 pesticides are those most commonly found as residues on European produce.

The researchers urgently call for more screening of commonly used pesticides to see if they block or otherwise interfere with testosterone and other male hormones. As we've reported here before, a father's chemical exposure can sometimes have harmful impacts on the next generation.

In an interview with Marla Cone of Environmental Health News, Emily Barrett, a University of Rochester assistant professor who studies how environmental chemicals affect human reproduction, commented on the study:

This underlines the glaring problem that many of the chemicals that are most widely used today, including pesticides, are simply not adequately tested and may have serious long-term impacts on health and development.

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