February 9, 2010
Higher exposure to toxic chemicals may explain the difference in testicular cancer rates between Denmark and Finland, researchers from the University Department of Growth and Reproduction have found in a study on breast milk.
[efoods]“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,” said lead researcher Niels Skakkebaek.
Rates of testicular cancer, genital abnormalities, low semen quality, and other male reproductive disorders are four times higher in Denmark than in nearby Finland. These conditions have previously been linked to exposure to industrial chemicals that disrupt the hormonal (endocrine) system.
Endocrine disruptors have also been linked to birth defects, neurological problems, and increased rates of cancer and heart disease. The most dangerous chemicals are known as persistent organic pollutants, because they resist environmental degradation and accumulate in the environment.