Quantcast

New Study Confirms High-Pesticide Produce Linked to Lower Fertility Rates

iStock

By Dan Nosowitz

News that there may be a correlation between exposure to pesticides and infertility is not new; studies have previously tied higher rates of exposure to decreased male fertility.

But a new study, primarily from researchers at Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, takes a look specifically at women who are already undergoing infertility treatment. And the results seem to have surprised even the researchers, according to a CNN report.


The study looked at 325 women undergoing infertility treatment at Mass General Hospital in Boston. The researchers looked for correlations in whether women successfully got pregnant and gave birth with their diets. The subjects self-reported what they ate, and the researchers took careful note of the amounts of fruits and vegetables associated with very high levels of pesticide residue, based on U.S. Deparement of Agriculture data. (That data shows up in lists like the EWG's Dirty Dozen).

Among those fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticide residue are spinach, strawberries and peaches; those with low levels of pesticide residue include avocados and onions.

The results are pretty staggering: of those subjects who consumed more than 2.3 servings per day of high-residue fruits and vegetables, the study found an 18 percent lower probability of getting pregnant and a 23 percent lower probability of successfully giving birth. There seemed to be no correlation between those women who consumed lots of low-residue fruits and vegetables.

This study is not a perfect proof of causality; the women surveyed are demographically limited by geographic location (being that they're all seeking treatment from a single hospital), and they were all seeking fertility treatment in the first place, which might skew the findings. And, of course, the study relied on self-reporting, which can have flaws, too.

But this could be a serious call to action for those seeking to prove a link between infertility and pesticides in our food, even when that food is objectively healthful stuff like strawberries and spinach.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Modern Farmer.

Related Articles Around the Web
Sponsored
by [D.Jiang] / Moment / Getty Images

By Alena Kharlamenko

Tofu is a staple in vegetarian and vegan diets.

Read More Show Less
KarinaKnyspel / iStock / Getty Images

2018 saw a number of studies pointing to the outsized climate impact of meat consumption. Beef has long been singled out as particularly unsustainable: Cows both release the greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere because of their digestive processes and require a lot of land area to raise. But for those unwilling to give up the taste and texture of a steak or burger, could lab-grown meat be a climate-friendly alternative? In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers from the Oxford Martin School set out to answer that question.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Three scissor-tailed flycatcher fledglings in a mesquite tree in Texas. Texas Eagle / CC BY-NC 2.0

By Gary Paul Nabhan

President Trump has declared a national emergency to fund a wall along our nation's southern border. The border wall issue has bitterly divided people across the U.S., becoming a vivid symbol of political deadlock.

Read More Show Less
PeopleImages / E+ / Getty Images

By Daniel Ross

Hurricane Florence, which battered the U.S. East Coast last September, left a trail of ruin and destruction estimated to cost between $17 billion and $22 billion. Some of the damage was all too visible—smashed homes and livelihoods. But other damage was less so, like the long-term environmental impacts in North Carolina from hog waste that spilled out over large open-air lagoons saturated in the rains.

Hog waste can contain potentially dangerous pathogens, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. According to the state's Department of Environmental Quality, as of early October nearly 100 such lagoons were damaged, breached or were very close to being so, the effluent from which can seep into waterways and drinking water supplies.

Read More Show Less
This picture taken on May 21, 2018 shows discarded climbing equipment and rubbish scattered around Camp 4 of Mount Everest. Decades of commercial mountaineering have turned Mount Everest into the world's highest rubbish dump as an increasing number of big-spending climbers pay little attention to the ugly footprint they leave behind. DOMA SHERPA / AFP / Getty Images

China has closed its Everest base camp to tourists because of a buildup of trash on the world's tallest mountain.

Read More Show Less