Monday, December 8, 2008

Men - the newest endangered species.

ResearchBlogging.orgMaybe people aren't listening when scientists talk about how Bisphenol A, a chemical used in plastics, is a pseudo-estrogen. Maybe others think that there are no side effects to flushing their extra or expired birth control down the toilet. Whoever is to blame, one thing is for certain: the male gender is threatened, and gravely.

A new report released today by CHEMtrust is the most comprehensive review to date of gender-bending chemicals and their effects on males of all species, from road kill to humans, drawn from over 250 studies worldwide - and it doesn't have good news. Still not freaking out?

"In mammals, genital disruption in males has been widely reported, including: intersex features (such as egg tissue in the testes of the male); small phallus; small testes; undescended testes; abnormal testes; or ambiguous genitals" details the press release from CHEMtrust. That's on top of the more than fifty percent drop in average sperm count that men of our species have experienced in the past fifty years.

Yeah, thought that might bother you a bit.

Basically, we are releasing an onslaught of hundreds of thousands of hormone-mimicking chemicals into our waterways each year from pesticides, manufacturing chemicals, and even unused prescriptions. These chemicals, known as "endocrine disrupters" act like estrogen and other feminine hormones. When exposed to the developing young, these chemicals are particularly dangerous - especially for males. Numerous studies, like this one, warn us that even humans are very much at risk.

Yet still, on Wednesday, Britain will flagship the opposition to new regulations on pesticides that are responsible for a large portion of these gender-bending effects. They claim that the regulations would cause an agricultural collapse, which is hogwash, as the regulations have so many loopholes even a one-legged farmer could jump through them.

We need to regulate these chemicals NOW to try and prevent an unbelievable amount of ecological damage that we can't undo. If our outputs of these endocrine disrupters go unchecked, men will quickly become a threatened species - if not extinct.

I Norgil Damgaard (2002). Impact of exposure to endocrine disrupters inutero and in childhood on adult reproduction Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 16 (2), 289-309 DOI: 10.1053/beem.2002.0205