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Pesticide methoxychlor has been associated with three generations of disease

Harold Mandel's picture
A field being sprayed with pesticide

Concerns about potential health hazards from exposure to pesticides appear to have underestimated the serious nature of this problem. Considerations about possible neurological and other damage from such exposure has not generally taken into account the possibility of such damage crossing over from one generation to the next. Research has now uncovered evidence of an association of pesticide exposure to problems across generations.

Methoxychlor has the potential to promote epigenetic inheritance

Researchers have determined that environmental compounds can promote the epigenetic inheritance of adult-onset disease in future generation progeny in the aftermath of ancestral exposure during the critical period of fetal gonadal sex determination. These compounds include:

1: Fungicides

2: Plastics

3: Pesticides

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4: Dioxin

5: Hydrocarbons

This study opened up an examination of the actions of the pesticide methoxychlor in order to promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adult-onset disease reported the journal PLOS One. This research was done on rats. Observations indicated that the pesticide methoxychlor has the potential to promote the epigenetic inheritance of disease.

Ancestral exposures to methoxychlor can lead to disease in new generations

The researchers say ancestral exposures to the pesticide methoxychlor have the potential to lead to adult onset kidney disease, ovarian disease and obesity in new generations reports Washington State University. Michael Skinner, Washington State University professor and founder of its Center for Reproductive Biology, says what your great-grandmother was exposed to during pregnancy, such as the pesticide methoxychlor, may promote a significant increase in your susceptibility to develop disease. Than even in the absence of any continued exposure you will pass this on to your grandchildren.

Methoxychlor may be affecting how genes are turned on and off

Methoxychlor is also known as Chemform, Methoxo, Metox or Moxi. This agent was introduced in 1948 and was widely used during the 1970s as a potentially safer replacement agent for DDT. Methoxychlor was used on crops, ornamental plants, pets and livestock. Although this agent was banned in the U.S. in 2003 due to its toxicity and its ability to disrupt endocrine systems, it is still used widely in many countries across the world. It is believed by the researchers the pesticide may be affecting how genes are turned on and off in the progeny of animals exposed to it even though its DNA and gene sequences remain unchanged. Clearly, greater caution than ever should be taken in dealing with methoxychlor and similar agents.