Prenatal exposure to organochlorine pesticides and cryptorchidism

Lília Patrícia Bustamante Montes Stefan Waliszewski María Hernández-Valero Luz Sanín-Aguirre Rosa Maria Infanzón-Ruiz Arlette García Jañas About the authors

Fetuses and children are more susceptible to the effects of environmental toxins. The objective of this article is to determine the levels of organochlorine pesticides (HCB, ß-HCH, pp'DDT, op'DDT and pp'DDE) in the serum lipids of mothers of newborns with cryptorchidism and compare the levels to a control group of mothers of newborns with descended testicles. The cases were composed of newborns with cryptorchidism (n=41), and the controls (n=41) newborns with descended testicles. Blood samples from both groups of mothers were used to determine the organochlorine pesticide levels. Cryptorchidism was diagnosed at birth by a neonatologist. The results showed that the organochlorine pesticide residues were found in the serum lipids of both groups of mothers. The median serum lipid levels (mgkg-1 lipid-based) were statistically higher for the metabolites pp'DDT (0.464 vs. 0.269) and ß-HCH (0.263 vs. 0.192) in the cryptorchidism group compared to the control group (p<0.01). It could be concluded that the levels of the metabolites pp'DDT and ß-HCH are higher among mothers of newborns with cryptorchidism. It is possible that substances with anti-androgenic effects could produce endocrine disruption, such as cryptorchidism, during fetal development.

Endocrine disrupters; Pre-natal exposure; Cryptorchidism; Organochlorine pesticides


ABRASCO - Associação Brasileira de Saúde Coletiva Av. Brasil, 4036 - sala 700 Manguinhos, 21040-361 Rio de Janeiro RJ - Brazil, Tel.: +55 21 3882-9153 / 3882-9151 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: cienciasaudecoletiva@fiocruz.br