A landmark study by a research team from Harvard recently found devastating evidence linking pesticide residue to low sperm count. Those men who regularly eat fruits and vegetables containing pesticide residues are likely to cut their sperm count in half. That’s 50% less sperm than those who avoid pesticides altogether.
The research was conducted between 2007 and 2012. It focused on over 150 different men providing over 300 samples. The sperm count of the participants was then compared to their diet. Men who consumed larger amounts of high pesticide fruits and vegetables, such as apples, strawberries and peppers, had about half as much sperm.
There have been studies in the past that also indicated pesticides may be harmful to fertility. Studies based on the fertility of farmers who were regularly exposed to pesticides showed data pointing to reproductive troubles.
Although this study is certainly compelling, the data is based on self reporting. The overall exposure to pesticides was estimated based on information given by the participants. Brad Reifler (reuters.com) understands that this type of data may be flawed and must be taken with a grain of salt. Additional studies will be necessary in order to determine whether pesticides have a positive correlation to reproductive issues in men.