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19 May 2008
New Evidence Linking Pollutants To Penile Deformities
by George Atkinson

Two new studies presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association have confirmed that maternal exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals can contribute to an increased incidence of hypospadias, undescended testes and other reproductive problems in male children. The new findings build on previous studies (see links below) that have linked polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorinated pesticides to a variety of urologic conditions.

The first study found that mothers with high levels of organochlorine compounds in their bodies are at a greater risk of bearing sons with undescended testicles (cryptorchidism). Based on 40 boys who were undergoing surgical treatment for the condition, the study analyzed PCB serum levels from both the patient and the mother. Analysis of the samples revealed that chemical concentrations were significantly higher in boys with undescended testicles than in those without the anomaly.

Researchers involved in the second study presented similar findings on congenital anomalies and chemical exposure. They found that individuals exposed to polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) were at a greater risk for genitourinary or reproductive conditions. Sons whose mothers had measurable PBB levels at the time of conception had conditions that included hernias, hydroceles (a fluid-filled sac surrounding a testicle), undescended testicles, hypospadias, phimosis and varicocele.

The researchers noted that sons whose mothers had PBB levels greater than 5 parts per billion were more likely to report these conditions than those whose mothers had lower levels. "Mothers with known exposure to these enduring compounds should tell not only their own doctors but also their sons' pediatricians," said Anthony Y. Smith, a spokesman for the AUA. "These data underscore the importance of regular 'well-baby checkups' so that these easily treatable conditions are diagnosed promptly."

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Dioxin Exposure Causing Vets Reproductive Troubles?
Malformations Of Penis, Testicular Problems Linked To Pesticides, Placticizers

Source: American Urological Association

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