Pesticide exposure and women's health
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The author argues that pesticides effect human health in many similar ways for males and females, but the differences in biology makes women more susceptible to the toxicity of certain chemicals and different cancers can actually be produced depending on gender from exposure to the same agricultural inputs because they function as an endocrine disruptor and develop hormone-related cancers that affect women more than men. This is important because in the agricultural labor force of developing countries 44% are women, compared to only 36% women in developed countries (p. 585-586). The author found that knowledge and attitudes about pesticides differed greatly between women and men, with women knowing less and protecting themselves less regarding pesticides. Women were found to be affected not only by spraying pesticides but by living in areas where pesticides are sprayed, particularly in their reproductive functions and birth defects of children. Reproductive functions and birth defects are also greatly affected by water contamination.