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Exposure to Pesticides may result in Boys reaching Sexual Maturity earlier: Research

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Beijing, April 2, 2017: Exposure to pesticides commonly used both indoors and outdoors to kill mosquitoes and other insects on crops may result in boys reaching sexual maturity earlier, researchers have found.

The class of pesticides studied, pyrethroids, accounts for more than 30 percent of global insecticide use, said lead investigator Jing Liu, Associate Professor at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. These chemicals are known endocrine-disrupting chemicals that interfere with the body’s hormones.

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“We recognise pyrethroids as a new environmental contributor to the observed trend toward earlier sexual maturity in boys,” said Professor Liu.

Previous research shows that early puberty increases the risk of diseases in adulthood, for example, testicular cancer in men and breast cancer in women.

Early puberty also can stunt growth and cause behavioural problems.

For the study, presented at the Endocrine Society’s 99th annual meeting in Orlando, the team examined 463 Chinese boys aged 9 to 16 years.

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They found the evidence of recent exposure to pyrethroids in human urine as a metabolite, or molecule, called 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3-PBA).

The results showed that a 10 per cent increase in 3-PBA was associated with a four per cent increase in the boys’ levels of luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) — hormones that spur production of testosterone in males.

Having an increased urinary level of 3-PBA raised the odds of a boy being at an advanced stage of genital development by 73 to 110 per cent, Liu said.

Further, when the researchers exposed male mice to cypermethrin — a widely used pyrethroid insecticide — they observed an accelerated onset of puberty in the mice.

“Given the growing use of pyrethroid insecticides, we must prudently assess these chemicals for their risks to children’s health,” Liu said. (IANS)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)