Common Health Problem for Women Linked to Pesticide Exposure
Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue lining the inside of the uterus grows outside of the uterus, ensuing in pain and infertility, and experts fear it’s on the rise.. It is not known why the malady afflicts some women and not others, but researchers have discovered a possible contributing factor – pesticide exposure.
Since endometriosis is a disorder that is estrogen-driven, scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center were interested in examining the effect of environmental chemicals on the risk of the illness, says lead author Kristen Upson. In the study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, they evaluated 248 women diagnosed with endometriosis and 538 healthy women. After testing blood levels of organochlorine pesticides, they found correlations to the disease with mirex and beta-hexachlorocyclohexane, substances that remain in some dairy products and fish though they have been banned in the US for decades.
The results were rather incriminating. Women with the highest exposure to mirex had a 50 percent greater risk of developing endometriosis, while those with the highest exposure to beta-hexachlorocyclohexane had a 30 to 70 percent greater risk. Even after adjusting for other factors, the association persisted.
Pesticides Found in Blood Were Banned Years Ago
The crux of the issue is that the two pesticides found in the blood of women diagnosed with endometriosis have not been used for years. Beta-hexachlorocyclohexane was a chemical byproduct of a crop insecticide commonly used during the 1970s. The other chemical, mirex, was used in the 1960s and 1970s to control fire ants and was sprayed over millions of acres in the southeastern United States. Both chemicals were eventually banned or greatly restricted due to concerns about their effect on health and the environment. It turns out these concerns were well-founded, as the harm the chemicals perpetrate is being manifested in the lives of women today.
A Possible Piece of the Puzzle
The research is valuable because the answer to the question of why some women get endometriosis and others don’t is unclear to the medical community. Co-author Professor Victoria Holt says the research provides “another piece of the puzzle.” Other studies show organochlorine pesticides have estrogenic properties and can adversely affect the uterus, ovaries and hormone production. In light of the research, it is plausible that these pesticides can increase the risk of endometriosis, Upson says.
Upson hopes the research will underscore the fact that dangerous chemicals can harm human health for a number of years after they have been banned. The take-away of the study is that persistent chemicals in the environment can have a detrimental effect on the current generation of reproductive age women.
Why Are Organochlorines a Health Hazard?
In an interview with Live in the Now, Shane Ellison, organic chemist and author of Over-the-Counter Natural Cures provided some fascinating insight on why these pesticides are a threat to health. His sobering explanation is below.
“Endometriosis and cancer are estrogen-driven diseases. The higher the estrogen, or the estrogen mimic, the higher your chances are of becoming ill.”
“Sadly, pesticides are estrogen’s twin. Their mimicking action of the sex hormone sets off a destructive chemical cascade internally. While science refers to them as organochlorines, I call them a Really-Nasty Form of Chlorine (RNFOC).”
“The RNFOC poses a real and present danger to anyone exposed because it confers a molecule with a set of super powers that wreak havoc on the human body. For example, Agent Orange, used in the U.S Army’s herbicidal warfare program, is a RNFOC. Other shocking examples are the war gas phosgene, chlordane and lindane.”
“This family of chemicals is lethal because they allow poisons to be fat soluble while rendering the natural defense mechanisms of the body helpless. A poison that is fat-soluble is akin to a bomb exploding internally. It invades every nook and cranny of the body. Cell walls and DNA, the genetic map of human life, become nothing more than potential casualties of war when exposed. To increase longevity, abstaining from pesticides is critical.”
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.