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mixtures for hypospadias: Using insect repellents in early pregnancy could put unborn boys at risk

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  • Teresa Binstock
    ...individual biocides were not linked with an increased risk of hypospadias, but high use of several biocides was associated with a 73% increased risk.
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2009
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      "...individual biocides were not linked with an increased risk of
      hypospadias, but high use of several biocides was associated with a 73%
      increased risk. Insect repellent use in the first three months was
      linked with an 81% increased risk of hypospadias."

      - - - -

      Insect Repellent Use Associated with Hypospadias
      <http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/EnvironmentalHealth/17218>
      MedPage Today

      - - - -

      Possible defect link to fly sprays

      (UKPA) -- 15 hours ago
      http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5iQGeDUYO34vUfdYaEkeCdGnqpDxw


      Using insect repellents in early pregnancy could put unborn boys at risk
      of a birth defect, research suggests.

      If used in the first three months, chemicals in the repellents could
      increase the risk of hypospadias by 81%, it found.

      Hypospadias is when the tube (urethra) that carries urine and semen from
      the bladder to the opening at the tip of the penis is too short, leaving
      the opening on the underside of the penis instead of at the end. The
      condition is thought to affect around one to two baby boys in every 500.

      The research, published online in the journal Occupational and
      Environmental Medicine, included 471 babies with hypospadias and 490
      acting as a comparison group. Their mothers, all living in the South
      East of England, were asked a series of questions, including whether
      they had been exposed to insect repellents and biocide chemicals, such
      as pesticides or weedkillers.

      They were asked about their own use of fly sprays, repellents, animal
      poisons, pet flea treatments and nit shampoos and asked geographical
      questions, for example if they lived less than a mile from an
      agricultural field.

      Their exposure levels were then calculated using a score from 0 to 8.
      The experts found that individual biocides were not linked with an
      increased risk of hypospadias, but high use of several biocides was
      associated with a 73% increased risk. Insect repellent use in the first
      three months was linked with an 81% increased risk of hypospadias.

      The experts, from the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology
      in Barcelona and Imperial College London, concluded: "(We) found an
      association between the use of insect repellent and total biocide score
      and risk of hypospadias."

      Insect repellents can contain N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide, popularly known
      as DEET. High doses of DEET have been found to be toxic and can cross
      the placental barrier, but its consequences are not well understood, the
      authors said.

      Professor Alan Boobis, director of the department of health toxicology
      unit at Imperial College London, said: "This study provides some
      evidence of an association between exposure to insect repellents and the
      risk of hypospadias. As the authors themselves point out, there are a
      number of caveats that need to be borne in mind."

      Professor Anthony Dayan, former director of the department of toxicology
      at St Bart's hospital medical college in London, said: "As the authors
      themselves note, their finding is only tentative and preliminary, and,
      as is common in such surveys at a distance, the participation rate of
      patients was low and some of the essential controls were missing."

      Copyright © 2009 The Press Association. All rights reserved.



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