Organochlorine compound levels in fertile and infertile women from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Níveis de substâncias organocloradas em mulheres férteis e inférteis do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was quantify organochlorine compounds in women seeking for infertility treatment (n = 15) and in spontaneously pregnant ones (n = 21). MATERIALS AND METHODS: A questionnaire was applied regarding lifestyle, occupational and reproductive history. Blood samples were collected from both groups. RESULTS: From the pesticides studied, pp'DDE was detected in 100% of infertile women, at higher mean levels than in pregnant women (3.02 mcg/L vs. 0.88 mcg/L; p = 0.001; power of 69%), without correlation with the etiology of infertility. Levels of the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were low, with positive samples in 100% in the infertile women for PCBs 138, 153, 180, while in pregnant women, they were 85.7% for congeners 138 and 153. Only PCB180 showed significance, with frequency of 71.4% (p = 0.019). CONCLUSIONS: The risk factors for female infertility were: age, consumption of untreated water and of canned foods. Exposure to the most prevalent organochlorine compounds described in literature was confirmed in the study, indicating that pp'DDE may adversely influence female fertility.

Organochlorine pesticides; polychlorinated biphenyls; female fertility; endocrine disruptors

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