Article

Fertility and exposure to solvents among families in the Agricultural Health Study

Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Department of Human Health Services, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA.
Occupational and environmental medicine (Impact Factor: 3.27). 08/2006; 63(7):469-75. DOI: 10.1136/oem.2005.021337
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Several studies have reported associations between solvent exposure and reduced female fertility, but the evidence is inconclusive for male fertility.
To investigate the impact of solvent exposure on subfertility among families of male licensed pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Health Study cohort.
The couples enrolled between 1993 and 1997. Cross-sectional questionnaire information on work tasks was used to assess exposure to solvents. The data were limited to couples (wife aged less than 40 years) with an attempt at pregnancy in the last four years (n = 2112).
Twenty eight per cent of the couples were defined as subfertile (not conceiving a pregnancy after at least 12 months of unprotected intercourse, regardless of whether or not a pregnancy ultimately occurred). Adjusted subfertility odds ratios (OR) for exposure to solvents were calculated with logistic regression. Female (OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.75) and male exposure to solvents (OR 1.21 (95% CI 0.93 to 1.57) for monthly exposure and 1.40 (95% CI 0.97 to 2.03) for daily or weekly exposure) were associated with subfertility. In farming, spouses may share or exchange jobs. To account for potential dual exposure, variables for parental exposure (either parent exposed or both parents exposed) were also defined. Both were strongly associated with subfertility (OR 1.62 (95% CI 1.20 to 2.17) and OR 2.10 (95% CI 1.22 to 3.60), respectively).
Solvents may impair fertility of either gender, though the evidence for female effects is stronger than for male effects.

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    • "For example, pesticides have been associated with retinal degeneration [Kamel et al., 2000], non-malignant respiratory disease Hoppin et al., 2014], thyroid disease [Goldner et al., 2010], depression [Beseler et al., 2006], diabetes [Montgomery et al., 2008; Starling et al., 2014], Parkinson's disease [Tanner et al., 2011; Goldman et al., 2012], and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [Kamel et al., 2012]. Exposure to solvents was also studied in relation to fertility [Sallmén et al., 2006]. Findings for pesticides and other agricultural exposures and cancer include several aspects of prostate cancer (family history, aggressive prostate cancer, genetic polymorphisms) [Alavanja et al., 2003; Koutros et al., 2011 Koutros et al., , 2013, contact with farm animals [Beane et al., 2012], monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, telomere length [Hou et al., 2013], and childhood cancer among children of pesticide applicators [Flower et al., 2004]. "
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    • "For example, pesticides have been associated with retinal degeneration [Kamel et al., 2000], non-malignant respiratory disease [Hoppin et al., 2006; Hoppin et al., 2014], thyroid disease [Goldner et al., 2010], depression [Beseler et al., 2006], diabetes [Montgomery et al., 2008; Starling et al., 2014], Parkinson's disease [Tanner et al., 2011; Goldman et al., 2012], and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [Kamel et al., 2012]. Exposure to solvents was also studied in relation to fertility [Sallmén et al., 2006]. Findings for pesticides and other agricultural exposures and cancer include several aspects of prostate cancer (family history, aggressive prostate cancer, genetic polymorphisms) [Alavanja et al., 2003; Koutros et al., 2011, 2013], contact with farm animals [Beane et al., 2012], monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance [Landgren et al., 2009], telomere length [Hou et al., 2013], and childhood cancer among children of pesticide applicators [Flower et al., 2004]. "
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