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E-M:/ Toxin in plastics harming unborn boys: The Guardian

Enviro-Mich message from Tracey Easthope <tracey@ecocenter.org>

The Guardian in the UK has an incredible article today about new studies showing the ubiquitous toxicants-- phthalates (pronounced tha-lates) harm the development of baby boys. An Ann Arbor toy store was the first in the country to pull phthalate-plasticized teething rings from the shelves after an Ecology Center campaign.

"Tests showed that women with higher levels of four different phthalates were more likely to have baby boys with a range of conditions, from smaller penises and undescended testicles to a shorter perineum, the distance between the genitals and the anus. The differences, say the authors, indicate a feminisation of the boys similar to that seen in animals exposed to the chemicals."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1493505,00.html Toxin in plastics harming unborn boys Scientists say chemicals have gender bending effect Ian Sample, science correspondent Friday May 27, 2005 The Guardian

Scientists in America have found the first evidence that common chemicals used in products as diverse as cosmetics, toys, clingfilm and plastic bags may harm the development of unborn baby boys.

Researchers have long known that high levels of substances called phthalates have gender-bending effects on male animals, making them more feminine and leading to poor sperm quality and infertility. The new study suggests that even normal levels of phthalates, which are ubiquitous, can disrupt the development of male babies' reproductive organs.


"Every aspect of male identity is altered when you see this in male animals," said Fred vom Saal, professor of reproductive biology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Levels of aggression, parenting behaviour and even learning speeds were affected, he said.


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