Daily News Archive
Quality Affected By Exposure to Pesticides
Dr. Swan selected men in whom all semen parameters (concentration, percentage sperm with normal morphology, and percentage motile sperm) were low for test subjects and men in whom all semen parameters were within normal limits for controls within Missouri and Minnesota and measured metabolites of eight current-use pesticides in urine samples provided at the time of semen collection.
Pesticide metabolite levels were elevated in Missouri cases, compared with controls, for the herbicides alachlor and atrazine and for the insecticide diazinon. Men from Missouri with high levels of alachlor were significantly more likely to have decreased sperm quality than were men with low levels of alachlor, as were men with atrazine levels higher than the limit of detection. The herbicides 2,4-D and metolachlor were also associated with poor semen quality in some analyses, whereas acetochlor levels were lower in men with reduced sperm quality than in controls.
No significant associations were seen for any pesticides within Minnesota, where levels of agricultural pesticides were low, or for the insect repellant DEET or the malathion metabolite malathion dicarboxylic acid.