Friday, September 20, 2019

Dibromochloropropane sterilizes men?

Well, this is an interesting story: 
Now, some survivors and their families are suing three big chemical makers in France to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid damages awarded to them by courts in Nicaragua, where many of the poisonings of banana workers occurred. If successful, the case could set a legal precedent and lead to more lawsuits in France for harm done in other countries by the pesticide Nemagon.
Further down in the article:
The chemical dibromochloropropane, or DBCP, an active ingredient in Nemagon, was banned in most of the United States in 1977 after it was found to have caused sterility among thousands of male workers who were exposed to it at Dow, Shell and Occidental plants across America. Food growers based in the United States continued to use Nemagon through the early 1980s at banana and pineapple plantations in countries with lower environmental standards, according to lawsuits filed in Nicaragua and elsewhere. 
It's hard to imagine than such an innocuous looking molecule has such side effects, but it apparently does. 

3 comments:

  1. ethylene glycol monomethyl ether (cellosolve) and trifluoroethanol are both bad news for male fertility, with chronic exposure. (More benign process solvent replacement was found - racemic 1-methoxy-2-propanol. But trifluoroethanol is not easily replaced, it has important polymer applications)

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  2. See also: Weinstein paper on norbornene dibromides. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/ja01467a058
    So, not that surprising?


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  3. About your statement "It's hard to imagine than such an innocuous looking molecule...," seriously? By its classic definition these are alkylating agents! And, as such chronic uses is best avoided. They remain in the system for longer periods of time exceeding their IC50 to cause enough damages to the organs.

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