Gender-bending chemicals found in many food, cosmetic and cleaning products put unborn baby boys at greater risk of developing cancer and infertility later in life, a leading scientist has warned.
According to Professor Richard Sharpe, of the Medical Research Council, the hormone-disrupting chemicals are "feminising" boys in the womb.
AdvertisementWhile explaining the harmful effects, the expert linked the chemicals to raising rates of birth defects and testicular cancer and falling sperm counts.
Sharpe, one of Britain's leading reproductive biologists, added that the chemicals block the action of the male sex hormone testosterone, or mimic the female sex hormone oestrogen, reports The BBC.
Chemicals in consumer products and food that have been reported to disrupt the sex hormones include:
Phthalates: Found in vinyl flooring, plastics, soaps, toothpaste
Pesticides: Including pyrethroids, linuron, vinclozolin and fenitrothion
The report by Sharpe was commissioned by the CHEM Trust, a charity which works to protect humans and wildlife from harmful chemicals.
Sharpe said: "Because it is the summation of effect of hormone-disrupting chemicals that is critical, and the number of such chemicals that humans are exposed to is considerable, this provides the strongest possible incentive to minimise human exposure to all relevant hormone disruptors, especially women planning pregnancy, as it is obvious that the higher the exposure the greater the risk."