Continuous exposure of humans to pesticide causes male low sperm count warns Prof. Suleiman Ambali of the Department of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Ilorin.
Prof. Ambali on Thursday night made this revelation during his his paper presentation at the 192nd Inaugural Lecture of the University (UNILORIN), entitled: “Preventing pesticides from poisoning away our health and future – the oxidative approach”.
He warned that there are evidences which suggest that the human species was approaching a fertility crisis based on trends in male reproductive health. He said based on the troubling data from laboratory, clinical epidemiology studies, it was obvious that the world would witness fertility crisis.
Corroborating his reports, he explained that some Danish scientists’ research has also indicated that sperm counts of men have declined by about 50 per cent since 1940 worldwide.
“The researchers analysed the result of sperm counts between 1938 and 1991. Since then several other studies have confirmed the decline.
“Environmental causes including pesticides especially those that causes endocrine changes in fetal and pre-puberty life prior to birth or during childhood or during breastfeeding, are involved in the decline of semen quality,” he said.
According to him, the effect of chemical pesticides on birth sex ratio is in favour of more females than males.
He also disclosed that there was an estimated 250,000 deaths annually from pesticides self-poisoning world-wide, accounting for about 30 per cent of the suicide rates globally.
Ambali therefore warned that the use of pesticides have led people to “poison away the future of our children”, while calling on government and non-governmental organisations to sensitise the populace against indoor use of pesticides.
“Policies aimed at reducing the use of pesticides in agriculture should be put in place.
“Farmers should be encouraged to use an integrated approach in controlling pests and develop alternative cropping systems less dependent on pesticides,” he said.