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Exposure to Pesticides & Men’s Cancer Risks

Green Crops A study published in the April issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows that men who were frequently exposed to the one very popular pesticide DDT, are at a higher risk for the most common form of testicular cancer. The scientists within this study found that men with a higher level of DDE (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene), which is a chemical by-product of the DDT pesticide were 1.7 times more likely to develop the testicular cancer cells then men with lower levels or even no levels at all.

DDT was developed in the 1940’s as a bug killer. This pesticide was used to kill mosquitoes and airborne illnesses such as Malaria at this time. It then later developed to a new form of use when farmers began using it to spray on their crops to promote better growth. It was not until 1972 that the USA banned DDT from the market when health risks were discovered. Although it was banned fairly early on, the by-products and chemicals this pesticide released into the air can survive in the environment for years after. Studies have linked constant exposure to this pesticide to reproductive complications as well as cancer.

The rate of men who are found with testicular cancer has been increasing for the past 30 years, about the time that DDT was banned from the market. Today there are still pesticides that are used on the foods we eat as the farmer’s use them to fertilize and protect their crops from dangerous insects. With this in mind many people are choosing to turn towards organically grown products in order to reduce any risk they may be promoting by eating foods grown in pesticides. This is only one study that shows the effects of a pesticide exposure and farmers today are exposed to it on a regular basis.

There are natural ways that can be utilized in order to make sure crops are growing successfully without the use of chemicals. Crop rotation, hand weeding and tillage are a part of organic farming. Traditional farmers are not only putting themselves at risk but the millions of people who consume their plants once they are in the grocery store. Although it is true that the natural forms of pesticides are not as effective as the chemical sprays they do offer more health benefits.

It’s more expensive for farmers to produce organically grown foods as they must be constantly spraying their crops with natural fertilizers because they are not nearly as effective as the chemicals. This is where farmers have to weigh their pros and cons in order to make an informed decision. If you’re a farmer who is surrounded by pesticides on a regular basis the study outlined above should worry you. These types of chemicals can be very harmful to your health and maybe the extra expense to use natural forms of pesticides to grow your crops seems more worth it.

Farmers need to check into the natural alternatives today and reduce their risk of testicular cancers and other cancers, which have been linked to regular chemical exposure.

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