(NaturalNews) A study done by French scientists, published in a high-impact journal (American Journal of Epidemiology) conclusively reports that chlordecone (kepone), a heavily chlorinated pesticide, is responsible for decreased gestation periods and increased risk of premature birth by 60 percent. How can chlordecone possibly do so? It is believed that it mimics the function of female hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, and replaces them in biological processes involved in child maturation.
Facts about chlordecone:
Still used for the treatment of banana root borer in Central and South America, the Carribean and Puerto Rico.
Originally heavily manufactured and widely used in the US, banned in 1976.
Its toxicity was discovered in 1975 in workers in the Hopewell, Virginia, plant. Then the production was shifted to Brazil, while it remained in use in many parts of the world.
The environmental degradation is extremely slow; therefore, it has persisted in soil, water and plants over the years and entered the food chain, waterways and seafood.
Some studies have previously reported the effect of chlordecone on animals, but no effort was done for a scientific quantitative analysis on humans. This first-ever study done in humans concludes a direct dose-response relationship between levels of chlordecone (in blood) to preterm birth and decreased gestation.
They reported that gestation decreased by at least three days for 40 percent of women whose blood was contaminated by chlordecone (>0.52 µg/L), which was also associated with a 60 percent increased risk of preterm birth.
The authors recommended protection of women from chlordecone exposure.
About the author: Dr. Sagwal has a Ph.D. in Medicinal chemistry. She has worked on the drug design and discovery of antimicrobial and anticancer agents and has published peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals. With a fascination for science, nature and its medicinal powerhouse, it is her passion to share and spread the knowledge from latest scientific discoveries. The information is based upon scientific experiments, facts, analyses and peer-review. We could use it to stay healthy, keep fit, prevent diseases or simply be happy. Dedicated to all those who want to live an aware and informed life. Cheers!!