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Adverse effects of exposure to agropesticides on male reproduction

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Adverse effects of chemical pollutants on spermatogenesis have become a relevant issue in modern andrology, since environmental chemical contamination increases everyday world‐wide. Agropesticides are one important group of such chemicals. Their relevance is due to their widespread use, mostly in the Third World, and to the various ways they interfere with male reproduction. Most organochlorine pesticides behave as xenoestrogens and though they have been banned in most countries many years ago, they have long lasting effect in the biosphere and are still illegally used. They have been largely replaced by organophosphorous pesticides (OP) which since then have been demonstrated as hazardous to human reproduction. This article provides a brief review on agropesticides, their use in Latin America, and occupational and environmental risks. Some of the clinical and biological effects of an OP pesticide parathion are presented. Animal experiments showed that OP chemicals damage germ and somatic cells of the testis, both at the onset of spermatogenesis and in the adults. Effects are not only genotoxic, but also teratogenic. The present knowledge advices prompt replacement of chemical pest control by environmentally safer methods.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0463.2001.tb05772.x

Affiliations: Program of Morphology, University of Chile Medical School. P.O. Box 70061, Santiago 7, Chile

Publication date: July 1, 2001

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