Prof. Suleiman Ambali of the Department of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Ilorin, has warned that continuous exposure of humans to pesticides can cause decline in sperm count.
Ambali disclosed this recently in 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.”
The don, who teaches in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the university, warned that there was evidences, which suggests 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.
“Environmental causes including pesticides especially those that cause 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 in favour of more females than males.
Ambali also said that the use of pesticides by people have led to reduction in quantity and quality of food available.
He said that pesticides have further enhanced in diseases to plants, animals and humans.
The expert in Toxicology who quoted WHO, said about three million workers in agriculture in developing world experience pesticides poisoning annually with about 18,000 deaths.
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 has led people to “poison 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. (NAN)