Adverse reproductive outcomes (ARO) and exposure to pesticides: The interpretation of results of the case-referent study in kibbutzim

E Kordysh, J Goldsmith, I Oryan, L Avnon, R Sobel, Arkady Bolotin

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Background. The results of our case-referent study in four Negev kibbutzim
(agricultural communities) have shown the association of birth defects and
spontaneous abortions with paternal occupational exposure to some pesti?
cides. In more than 50% of cases the father quitted agricultural work 1-15
years before conception with ARO. The data of this study have been
presented at the 14th International Conference on Epidemiology in Occu?
pational Health (October 1999, Israel). Aim of the current presentation is to
interpret these research outcomes. Results Interpretation. Paternal exposure
to pesticides has recently been suggested as a risk factor for ARO. But in
studies of this area, epidemiologists are dealing with pre-and periconceptial
exposure, which also occurred among part of our cases. Under these condi?
tions, direct paternal germ cell mutation may be considered. As for incidents
with delayed past exposure we assume several potential pathways: 1) men-
tioned above direct effect for pesticides with high ability to accumulation in
human tissues; 2) epigenetic or nongenetic disturbances which caused by
exposure lead to germ cells alteration, especially in response to some sec?
ondary factor. Environmental exposure to the same or others pesticides may
save as a trigger. Kibbutz members experience significant environmental
exposure to complex mixture from multiple sources (ambient air, water and
food products). Chemical analysis of the our samples from these sources (in
other group of kibbutzim) found these media to be contaminated by pesti?
cides used for fields, orchards and gardens. Therefore all assumed mecha?
nisms could take place because of paternal environmental exposure (espe?
cially to presently banned) at any time before conception. Moreover, the
fathers who were born in kibbutzim could have heritable mutations induced
by this residential / and occupational exposures. Maternal environmental
exposure to pesticides (with the same above described mechanisms of genetic
damage to ovum and one additional - transplacental, related to fetus) is an
important factor that was not included in our analysis.
Conclusion. Environmental exposure to pesticides in kibbutzim should be
consider as a remarkable confounder for paternal occupational exposu
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S64-S64
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2000


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