In recent years considerable attention has been focused on the adverse effects of environmental toxicants on human reproductive processes. A major class of environmental toxicants is the pesticides which include insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, molluscicides, rodenticides and nematocides. Although some pesticides are no longer used, their metabolites persist for many years and are ubiquitous through long range transport. In this review we will examine the role of insecticides in adverse reproductive outcomes and their mechanisms of action. No attempt is made to link exposure to insecticides and carcinogenesis, immune response, congenital anomalies or other effects. The three groups of insecticides - carbamates, organochlorines, and organophosphates will be discussed in detail. Evidence for and against adverse effects of insecticides as well as the emerging area of interest on nongenomic effects will be covered.
Keywords: Insecticides, ovary, testes, receptors, membranes, fertility, steroids
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