Why some women and not others get endometriosis — the growth of uterine tissue outside the uterus that can cause pain and infertility — is not known, but researchers have come up with one possible contributing factor: pesticide poisoning.
Scientists studied 248 women with surgically confirmed endometriosis and 538 healthy controls. They measured blood levels of two pesticides, mirex and beta HCH, which persist in some fish and dairy products even though their use in the United States has been banned for decades. The study appears online in Environmental Health Perspectives.
The researchers found that women with the highest exposure to mirex had a 50 percent increased risk for endometriosis, and those exposed to high levels of beta HCH a 30 to 70 percent increased risk.
Read more here.
This study points to the importance of thinking about the long-term impact that pesticides and other environmental pollutants have on our health. This particular pesticide, Mirex, has been banned for twenty plus years, yet it is increasing the risk of endometriosis and associated infertility today. The effects of these chemicals linger and get stored in the food supply, the soil, our cells.
The good news is that the more information is released like this, and the more aware we are, the more we, as scientists, healthcare professionals, farmers, and consumers, will focus (hopefully) on less toxic means of managing pests in our environment.
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