Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Chemical May Inhibit Male Sex Development

`A manmade ingredient of many plastics, cosmetics and other consumer products may be interfering with prenatal male sexual development, new research suggests.

A study of 85 infant boys found a correlation between increased exposure to some forms of the chemical phthalate and smaller penis size and incomplete testicular descent. [..]

Previous experiments in rats indicate that the chemical interferes with testosterone during gestation, producing a condition known as “phthalate syndrome.” Rats with the syndrome suffer from genital birth defects, infertility and testicular cancer. [..]

A growing body of research suggests that some chemicals used in consumer products may cause public health problems by interfering with sex hormones. A study in the current issue of the journal Endocrinology exposed newborn mice to bisphenol-A, a chemical found in plastics and dental sealants, at doses comparable to those found in the human environment. At puberty the mice were more likely to develop cancer-related mammary duct abnormalities.

“In humans this would cause breast cancer,” said Tufts University cell biologist Anna Soto, the study’s lead author.’

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