March 30, 2011
The organochloride pesticides used every day on many conventional food crops is responsible for lowering semen quality and causing infertility, according to a new study out of Spain. Clemente Aguilar from the Medical Research Laboratory of the University Hospital San Cecilio, Granada, and several colleagues from the University of Granada, discovered that even low-level exposure to common pesticides damages sperm and leads to fertility problems.
Aguilar and her colleagues sampled 280 volunteer students between the ages of 18 and 23 from the University of Almeria, Spain. They measured total spermatic number (TSN) and total sperm motility of the participants and found that the chemical poisons in pesticides alter both sperm count and quality of sperm.
In total, researchers found 18 different pesticides in participants’ blood, some of which are actually illegal in Spain. On average, participants had about 11 different pesticides circulating in their blood, and most of them had as many as 14 on average. Every participant had at least one detectable pesticides in his blood.
The most common source of exposure to these damaging pesticides is food that has been sprayed with them, and other household products like weed killers and even hair lice formulas. As far as food goes, most conventional produce is typically loaded with toxic pesticide residue, both inside and out. Some plants absorb the toxic chemical directly into their fruit, while others have large amounts of it on their surfaces.
Washing fruit may help to reduce pesticide levels, but it will not eliminate it completely in most cases. This is why purchasing organic produce, especially the types most prone to pesticide residues, is highly recommended as part of any healthy diet. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has put together a helpful Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides that highlights the best and worst produce for pesticides, and which ones are most important to purchase organic:
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This article was posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 4:55 am