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Natural Awakenings

Sex Ratios Shifting: Pollutants Cause Global Feminization

Apr 01, 2009 03:00AM

A report based on 250 scientific studies around the world has concluded that male fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals—including humans—are being feminized by environmental pollution. Common culprits include phthalates used in plastic food wraps, cosmetics and other products; flame retardants; and many pesticides. The new report was released by CHEMTrust, a British organization that advocates for protection of humans and wildlife from harmful chemicals.

The report follows a U.S. study that shows baby boys born to women exposed to such chemicals while pregnant have smaller penises and feminized genitals. A British newspaper, The Independent, also notes that women in communities heavily polluted with such chemicals in Canada, Russia and Italy have been giving birth to twice as many girls as boys, perhaps helping to explain a shift in sex ratios worldwide. At the same time, studies in more than 20 countries show that men’s sperm counts have dropped, from 150 million per milliliter of sperm fluid to 60 million over the past 50 years.


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