September 25, 2009

Chemicals linked to testicular cancer

Higher levels of environmental chemicals in breast milk are linked to a higher incidence of testicular cancer, researchers in Denmark found.

Konrad Krysiak-Baltyn and colleagues in Denmark, Finland and Germany measured levels of 121 chemicals in 68 breast milk samples from Denmark and Finland to compare exposure of mothers to environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals.

There is a worldwide increase in testicular cancer, but the cause remains unknown, Krysiak-Baltyn said.

In some countries, such as Denmark the prevalence of this disease and other male reproductive disorders is conspicuously high, while in Finland the incidence are markedly lower, Krysiak-Baltyn said.

We were very surprised to find that some endocrine disrupting chemicals levels, including some dioxins, PCBs and some pesticides, were significantly higher in Denmark than in Finland, Niels Skakkebaek, a senior member of the research team at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen said.

Our findings reinforce the view that environmental exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals may explain some of the temporal and between-country differences in incidence of male reproductive disorders.

The findings are published in the International Journal of Andrology.