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From September 15, 2005                                                                                                           

Common Pesticide Linked to Fertility Reduction in Women
(Beyond Pesticides, September 15, 2005)
A recent study conducted by researchers at the Yale School of Medicine reveals that Methoxychlor (MXC), a synthetic pesticide originally manufactured as a safer replacement for DDT, induces abnormalities in the female reproductive system. The insecticide MXC is found to interfere with the proper development and function of the reproductive tract thereby reducing fertility in women.

MXC is able to mimic the action of other hormones sometimes creating endocrine disruptors. Some of the endocrine disruptors bind to estrogen receptors, which plays a major role in the reproductive tract development. By altering the gene Hoxa10, which is regulated by estrogen, MXC reduces the ability of the uterus to support embryo implantation. The research included both mice and human cell lines.

MXC is used to kill a variety of bugs and is used directly on food crops, livestock, animal feed, grain, pets and home gardens. MXC is EPA registered and can legally be used in the United States. It is most commonly applied to a long list of crops including apples, grapes, sweet potatoes, and cabbage.
Hugh S. Taylor, M.D., associate professor in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine and senior author of the study, commented that, “MXC has an adverse effect on these mice similar to that of DES, a synthetic estrogen…Female offspring of women exposed to DES were more likely to have an abnormally shaped cervix, were more prone to cancer of the vagina, miscarriages, early labor and other complications.”

Yale Press Release

TAKE ACTION: Write the U.S.EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson and let the agency know that they have a duty to strictly regulate pesticide residue on fruits and vegetables.

Curtail your exposure to pesticides. Beyond Pesticides offers a plethora of non-toxic alternatives to pesticides. Learn how you can protect your children and loved ones from the effects of pesticides in your home, on your lawns, in schools, in hospitals and other public places. See Beyond Pesticides Alternatives Fact Sheets, How-To Factsheets, information on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in schools, information on organic food, and many other available materials and publications.