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More Evidence Linking Pesticides and Malformations

April 25, 2011

More Evidence Linking Pesticides and Malformations

In February, Scientific American covered a study by scientists from University of London’s Centre for Toxicology that found 30 of 37 widely used pesticides tested blocked or mimicked male hormones. Most of the newly discovered hormone disruptors are fungicides that are applied to fruit and vegetable crops.

A recent study by researchers at the University of Granada showed exposure to the pesticides known as organochlorides significantly altered semen quality in young men in southeast Spain.

The roadkill story (and others) reported on several scientific studies tying EDCs to birth defects in males of several species.

A second story drew on the emerging field of epigenetics as a possible explanation of how deformities related to chemical exposure could be passed through generations.

Under the Food Quality Protection Act, passed in 1996, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been tasked with screening and testing pesticide chemicals for possible endocrine disruption; the EPA has identified 200 chemicals for screening, but the process is still in the early stages.

Legislators in several U.S. states are drafting bills to ban various purported EDCs and are calling for reform of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act. The states, according to the advocacy coalition Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, are particularly focused on banning bisphenol A from baby bottles, infant formula packaging and receipt paper.


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