DDT Exposure, Work in Agriculture, and Time to Pregnancy Among Farmworkers in California

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This study examined whether exposure to pesticides, including dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), was associated with longer time to pregnancy (TTP).


Pregnant women (N = 402) living in a migrant farmworker community were asked how many months they took to conceive. Women reported their and their partners’ occupational and home pesticide exposure preceding conception. In a subset (N = 289), levels of DDT and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), were measured in maternal serum.


No associations were seen with p, p′-DDT, o, p′-DDT, or p, p′-DDE. Maternal occupational pesticide exposure (fecundability odds ratios [fOR] = 0.8, 95% CI: 0.6 to 1.0), home pesticide use (fOR = 0.6, 95% CI: 0.4 to 0.9), and residence within 200 ft of an agricultural field (fOR = 0.7, 95% CI: 0.5 to 1.0) were associated with reduced fecundability (ie, longer TTP).


Longer TTP was seen among women, but not men, reporting exposure to agricultural and home pesticides.

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