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Pesticide impairs male reproductive function

According to the May issue of the journal Epidemiology, high levels of DDT found in some Mexican workers suggest that pesticide can impair male reproductive function. The human body metabolises DDT to DDE. An international team of researchers took blood samples from 24 men aged 16 to 28 who had not been exposed to DDT in their work.

In these men the high DDE levels correlated to low levels of testosterone, low semen volume and low sperm count.

However some health experts argue that the benefits of using DDT outweigh the potential health risks involved. Many developing countries including Mexico still use DDT in their fight against malaria causing mosquitoes.

The disease infects as many as 500 million people each year and may kill as many as 2.5 million across the globe, according to the World Health Organization. The WHO, along with hundreds of malaria and public health experts, supports the continued use of DDT for malaria control.

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