Farm residence and reproductive health among boys in rural South Africa

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics; Department of Cell and Developmental Biology



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Pesticides; Agrochemicals; Agriculture; Male; Child; Reproductive Health; South Africa


Endocrine System Diseases | Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism | Pediatrics


BACKGROUND: Few studies have investigated reproductive health effects of contemporary agricultural pesticides in boys.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the association between pesticide exposure and reproductive health of boys.

METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study in rural South Africa of boys living on and off farms. The study included a questionnaire (demographics, general and reproductive health, phyto-estrogen intake, residential history, pesticide exposures, exposures during pregnancy); and a physical examination that included sexual maturity development ratings; testicular volume; height, weight, body mass index; and sex hormone concentrations.

RESULTS: Among the 269 boys recruited into the study, 177 (65.8%) were categorized as farm (high pesticide exposures) and 98 (34.2%) as non-farm residents (lower pesticide exposures). Median ages of the two groups were 11.3 vs 12.0 years, respectively (p

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Citation: Environ Int. 2012 Oct 15;47:73-9. Epub 2012 Jul 6. Link to article on publisher's site

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