Our Stolen Futurea book by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers


Hosie, S, S Loff, K Witt, K Niessen and K-L Wang. 2000. Is there a correlation between organochlorine compounds and undescended testes? European Journal of Pediatric Surgery 10:304-309.

New insights into the
molecular basis of cryptorchidism

Hosie et al. measured the concentration of 26 organochlorine chemicals in the fat tissue of children undergoing surgery for cryptorchidism (undescended testes) and compared their contamination levels to a control population (patients matched for age in surgery for reasons other than cryptorchidism). All patients contained measurable levels of all compounds.

They found that the young boys with undescended testes had greatly elevated levels of two compounds, heptachloroepoxide (HCE) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) compared to unaffected boys.

The 26 organochlorine contaminants measured were: DDT and metabolites, a range of PCBs, toxaphene, hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), several chlorinated cyclodienes (including HCE), and several chlorinated benzenes, (including HCB).

The authors caution that their demonstration of a statistical association does not prove causality, but conclude that "prenatal exposure to exogenous oestrogens is an attractive and plausible hypothesis" for the causation of cryptorchidism. One of the difficulties in their study is that the post-natal measurement of organochlorine contamination does not establish exposure levels at the critical time in prenatal development when conditions for cryptorchidism are established.





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