Association Between Organophosphates Pesticides Exposure and Reproductive Hormone Profile in Male Greenhouse Workers : Epidemiology

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Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Symposium Abstracts

Association Between Organophosphates Pesticides Exposure and Reproductive Hormone Profile in Male Greenhouse Workers

Lacasaña, Marina*†; Aguilar-Garduño, Clemente*‡; Blanco-Muñoz, Julia§; Rodriguez-Barranco, Miguel*; de Santiago, Esperanza*; Bassol, Susana; Cebrian, Mariano E**

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Epidemiology 20(6):p S166, November 2009. | DOI: 10.1097/01.ede.0000362565.74904.69
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Background and Objective:

Organophosphates pesticides (OP) are considered endocrine disruptors because of their capacity to block or activate hormone receptors and/or alter hormone metabolism.

The main objective was to assess the relationship between urinary DAP levels and hypophysary and male sexual hormones in Mexican greenhouse workers.


A longitudinal study was conducted from July 2004–May 2005. A total of 137 men (18 to 52 years old) agreed to participate in this study during the rainy season (July and October 2004) and 85 of them accepted during the dry season as well (December 2004–May 2005). A general questionnaire, blood and serum samples were taken a day after pesticide application.

Urine dialkylphosphates (DAP) were analyzed by gas chromatography and serum FSH, LH, testosterone, estradiol, inhibin B and prolactin by enzymatic immunoassay. Serum levels of p,p'-DDE were analyzed by gas chromatography and serum PON1 activity towards phenylacetate, paraoxon and diazoxon were determined as described by Richter and Furlong 1999.

Molar quantities (mmol/L) of dimethyl DAP and diethyl DAP were calculated. We used multivariate Generalized Estimated Equation (GEE) models to assess those associations adjusted by age, state of residence, body mass index, years working in greenhouses, paraoxonase and arylesterase activity, and p,p'-DDE levels.


The results of this study showed a positive association between urinary dimethyl DAP and serum FSH levels (β = 0.152; P = 0.001), prolactin (β = 0.115; P < 0.001) and a negative association with testosterone (β = –0.108; P = 0.01). A negative association was also observed between diethyl DAP and testosterone (β = –0.245 P = 0.001) and inhibin B (β= −0.297; P = 0.045) and a positive association with prolactin (β = 0.222; P < 0.001). No association was observed between urinary DAP levels and the remaining hormones.


Organophosphate exposure do alter hypophysary and male hormonal profile independently of other well known endocrine disruptors such as p,p'- DDE.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.