by Savitha C Muppala on  December 9, 2008 at 11:28 AM Research News
 ‘Gender Bending’ Chemicals Feared to Induce Feminine Changes in Men
A recent report by Chem Trust, the environmental group, has expressed concern about thousands of "gender bending" chemicals that could potentially alter the behaviour of humans and animals.

Some of these pollutants found in the environment share similar characteristics with the female sex hormone oestrogen.

The report stated that such gender bending chemicals have triggered certain changes in many male species of reptiles, amphibians, and fish. The result is that many male fish have begun to produce egg yolk protein which is normally produced in females.

Further, authors found that lower sperm count, and genital deformities are caused by some of the chemicals found in paint, plastics, cleaning products and food packaging items. This could produce female characteristics in many males.

Researchers also found that fish were typically affected by the gender changing chemicals. During one such study in British lowland rivers, fish portrayed signs of being feminised - eggs had developed in the testes.

Gywnne Lyons, a former Government advisor on chemical pollution and author of the report, said: "Urgent action is needed to control gender bending chemicals and more resources are needed for monitoring wildlife. If wildlife populations crash, it will be too late. Unless enough males contribute to the next generation there is a real threat to animal populations in the long term."

Even though the report has outlined the consequence of gender bending chemicals on the animal world, its repercussion on human health could be equally unsettling.

Source: Medindia
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