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. Read entire article here>>>>