Pesticide exposure and endocrine health outcomes in Palestinian and Israeli males

PIs, Hagai Levine and Jeremy D. Kark

In this project we aim to evaluate organophosphate exposure and its determinants among Israeli and Palestinian men and to determine the association with male hormones levels. To accomplish these goals we will use a population-based cross-sectional sample of Jerusalem residents, examined in 2004-2008. Urine samples taken from males aged 25-49 will be examined for 6 organophosphate metabolite levels in the collaborating lab and blood samples will be tested for hormone levels at Hadassah. We are currently in the process of signing a contract and preparing the samples for shipment to Germany. We have recently published a paper on Trends in Reproductive Health in Israel which serves to strengthen and focus the need for the current project.


A new Ongoing Project: Atrazine exposure, semen quality and sperm function in Israeli men

Hagai Levine, Ronit Machtinger

Abstract: The objective of the current study is to examine the relationship between exposure to pesticides such as atrazine, organophosphates and pyrethroids, and semen quality in Israeli men in IVF clinic. Pesticides are designed to be biocides and it was demonstrated that many of these chemicals adversely impact human reproductive function. It has long been known that occupational pesticide exposure can have a devastating effect on semen quality and male fertility. However, studying the subtler effects of non-occupational pesticide exposure on semen quality and sperm function in humans remains a challenge. Atrazine is the most commonly detected pesticide in surface and ground water in water sources in Israel. Atrazine has been recognized as an endocrine disruptor (ED) in animals and human, but its effects on human semen quality and sperm function remains largely unknown. Study team: Dr. Hagai Levine – Head, Environmental Health Track. Hebrew University – Hadassah School of Public Health. Dr. Ronit Machtinger – Senior physician. IVF Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sheba Tel Hashomer Medical Center. Meytav Ben-Sion a MD-MPH student. Assaf Ben Meir – Senior physician, IVF Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hadassah Medical Center. Dr. Henry Chill – Medical resident. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hadassah Medical Center.