Endocrine disrupting pesticides

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  • Since the synthesis of DDT during 1874 several insecticide molecules have been identified and synthesized globally for the control of insect pests, pathogens, microbes, vectors of human and animal diseases, weeds and other obnoxious organisms. Currently, 1.8 billion kgs of pesticides are used annually worldwide in the form of herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. There are more than 1055 active ingredients registered as pesticides till date implying that there is no best alternate for the chemical pesticide.

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  • For many years, interest in the prevention of diseases in children was concentrated on improvement of the postnatal environment. However, since the major problems of infectious diseases and nutrition were solved with the help of vaccinations and better feeding regimes, it became clear that new approaches were needed to prevent and treat the disorders and problems we are facing now - problems mainly arising in prenatal life.

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  • A robust body of literature details reproductive effects in fish, amphibians, and reptiles related to exposure to endocrine disruptors. Evidence of these effects has also been seen in wild mammals such as polar bears and seals. Environmental exposure assessments and wildlife, laboratory and epidemiologic studies show exposure to low-level environmental contaminants, such as pesticides and other chemicals, subtly undermines the ability to reproduce.

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  • Synthetic chemicals known as endocrine disruptors are an excellent example of emerging contaminants where the threats and consequences for water quality, human health, and the environment are still not fully understood. Endocrine disruptors – chemicals that can interfere with hormone action – have been identified among chemicals used in agriculture, industry, and households, and for personal care, including pesticides, disinfectants, plastic additives, and pharmaceuticals like birth control pills.

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  • Common household products –detergents, disinfectants, plastics, and pesticides– contain chemical ingredients that enter the body, disrupt hormones and cause adverse developmental, disease, and reproductive problems. Known as endocrine disruptors, these chemicals, which interact with the endocrine system, wreak havoc in humans and wildlife.

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