Alterations in reproductive hormone levels among farm women and their children occupationally exposed to organophosphate pesticides


Exposure to organophosphorus pesticides may lead to reproductive hormone dysfunction. Even among children of pubertal age, the exposure may disrupt growth, development, and maturation. The present study was conducted to assess the alterations in the reproductive hormone levels, among farm women (24-45 years, n = 129) and their children (9-12 years, n = 66 and 13-15 years, n = 63) and compare them with age and gender-matched control group [women (n = 134) and their children (9-12 years, n = 69 and 13-15 years, n = 65)] belonging to villages of Ranga Reddy District, Telangana, India. Blood pesticide residues and reproductive hormone (follicle-stimulating hormone-FSH, luteinizing hormone-LH, estradiol, and testosterone) levels were analyzed. The detected pesticide residues (ng/mL) were chlorpyrifos, diazinon, malathion, and monocrotophos among the farm women, while the farm children of 9-12 years age groups were detected with residues of chlorpyrifos, diazinon, malathion, monocrotophos, and phosalone. The farm children of 13-15 years age group were detected with residues of chlorpyrifos, diazinon, malathion, monocrotophos, and phosalone. However, no residues were detected among the samples of women and children of control groups. Significantly lower levels of FSH (in follicular phase) were observed among the farm women than the control group. Significant alterations in FSH and LH levels of farm women were observed with a significant correlation between the chlorpyrifos residue levels and estradiol hormone. While no such significant change in hormone levels was observed among the farm children of both age groups of both genders. Though the present study showed pesticide-induced alterations in hormone levels among the farm women, research is needed to elucidate the critical windows during which exposure may adversely affect the reproductive system in children at the pubertal stage and women at reproductive age and subsequently their progeny’s health at a later stage of life.

Authors: Srujana Medithi, Yogeswar Dayal Kasa, Babban Jee, Kodali Venkaiah, Padmaja R Jonnalagadda
; Full Source: Women & health May-Jun 2022;62(5):454-464. doi: 10.1080/03630242.2022.2085844.