Pesticides May Block Male Hormones

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Pesticides May Block Male Hormones

~LaUr3n~ ~LaUr3n~
Just came out 2/15/2011. I thought it might be important to pass this information along.

Many agricultural pesticides – including some previously untested and commonly found in food – disrupt male hormones, according to new tests conducted by British scientists.

The scientists strongly recommended that all pesticides in use today be screened to check if they block testosterone and other androgens, the hormones critical to a healthy reproductive system for men and boys.

“Our results indicate that systematic testing for anti-androgenic activity of currently used pesticides is urgently required,” wrote the scientists from University of London’s Centre for Toxicology, led by Professor Andreas Kortenkamp.

Thirty out of 37 widely used pesticides tested by the group blocked or mimicked male hormones. Sixteen of the 30 had no known hormonal activity until now, while there was some previous evidence for the other 14, according to the study, published online last Thursday in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Most of the newly discovered hormone disruptors are fungicides applied to fruit and vegetable crops, including strawberries and lettuce. Traces of the chemicals remain in foods.

“This study indicates that, not surprisingly, there are many other endocrine disruptors that we have not yet identified or know very little about,” said Emily Barrett, a University of Rochester assistant professor in obstetrics and gynecology who was not involved in 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,” said Barrett, who studies how environmental chemicals affect human reproduction.

The findings come as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency faces opposition from the pesticide industry after expanding its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program, which requires testing of about 200 chemicals found in food and drinking water to see if they interfere with estrogen, androgens or thyroid hormones.

None of the 16 pesticides with the newly discovered hormonal activity is included in the EPA’s program, which means they are not currently screened and there are no plans to do so.

The EPA’s program has been slow to implement, largely due to a controversy over testing methods. Environmental groups criticize the EPA, which was granted the authority by Congress in 1996, for taking so long to order manufacturers to test only a small group of chemicals. But chemical industry officials say that the tests cost up to $1 million per chemical and the techniques have not been fully validated. They also stress that positive results don't necessarily mean that the pesticides are harming human reproduction.

The British researchers screened the chemicals using in-vitro assays, which use human cells to check whether the pesticides activate or inhibit hormone receptors in cells that turn genes on and off. They are a widely accepted lab techniques. Scientists, however, are uncertain what actually happens in the human body at the concentrations of chemicals that people encounter in fruits and vegetables.

Fetuses and infants may be particularly at risk when exposed in the womb or through breast milk because the hormones control masculinization of the reproductive tract.

Some research has linked pesticides to abnormal genitals in baby boys, such as cryptorchidism and hypospadias, and decreased sperm counts in men. Male fertility is thought to be declining in many countries, and testicular cancer is increasing. Some scientists have dubbed this compilation of male disorders “testicular dysgenesis syndrome,” and suggested that hormone-disrupting environmental contaminants play a role. (there are two more pages to the document) link
02/16/2011
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Crash Crash
Scary stuff. Good thing I don't eat much fruit . Another good reason to go organic.
02/16/2011
Yoda Yoda
All the more reason to eat organic...if you can.
02/16/2011
Vaccinium Vaccinium
Endocrine disruptors are nasty things, but there is no concrete evidence of what changes they are effecting in humans. There are lots of examples of how endocrine disruptors affect other organisms in the animal kingdom, though. For example, three-legged frogs in the upper midwest (U.S.) have been linked with the herbicide atrazine and DDT almost wiped out predatory birds in the 60s and 70s.

Women are equally at risk from endocrine disruptors. Early menarche (the start of puberty in women) in some populations has been suggested as resulting from endocrine disruptors, as has the apparently increasing cases of breast cancer. I've even seen where autism has been hypothesized to be correlated.

This is part of the reason why I try and grow all my family's vegetables (at least during summer and fall) after that, it's mostly organic for me.
02/16/2011
markeagleone markeagleone
Quote:
Originally posted by ~LaUr3n~
Just came out 2/15/2011. I thought it might be important to pass this information along.

Many agricultural pesticides – including some previously untested and commonly found in food – disrupt male hormones, according to new tests conducted ...
Thank you so much for the post. It's just more proof that governments aren't doing their job and what drives everything is profits for companies. It kind of puts things in perspective, though. Cigarette companies must have pissed someone off because they are almost banned, but other companies can kill or mame you at will! At least with cigarettes, you had a choice.
02/17/2011
Solar Ray Solar Ray
Interesting article. Thanks
04/10/2011
tiname25 tiname25
really?
05/10/2011
yatinp30 yatinp30
hmm
05/10/2011
hotcoktail hotcoktail
very interesting article
05/11/2011
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Unique posters: 9