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For the first time, scientists have shown that pregnant mothers exposed to high but common levels of a widely used ingredient in cosmetics, fragrances, plastics and paints can have baby boys with smaller genitals and incomplete testicular descent.
The paper, published Friday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that the more a mother was exposed to the chemicals, called phthalates (THAL-ates), the greater the chance her boy's reproductive development would be harmed. Similar changes have led to decreased semen quality and fertility in rodents.
Originally posted by WyrdeOne
I didn't know it shrank the whole package, so to speak..I was under the impression it was just the testes effected.
The most pronounced reproductive effects were in male rabbits exposed in utero. Male offspring in this group exhibited reduction in numbers of ejaculated sperm (down 43%; p < 0.01), in weights of testes (at 12 weeks, down 23%; p < 0.05) and in accessory sex glands (at 12 and 25 weeks, down 36%; p < 0.01 and down 27%; p < 0.05, respectively). Serum testosterone levels were down (at 6 weeks, 32%; p < 0.05); a slight increase in histological alterations of the testis (p < 0.05) and a doubling in the percentage (from 16 to 30%, p < 0.01) of abnormal sperm; and 1/17 males manifesting hypospadias, hypoplastic prostate, and cryptorchid testes with carcinoma in situ-like cells.
- Small genitals and undescended testes are often related to low testosterone levels or chromosonal disorders. do these chemicals cause either of these things to occur?
- What are the effects of these chemicals when the child hits puberty? are they permanent?
- How are these chemicals absorbed? When applied directly to the skin? When plastics are simply handled? Is it just when consumed such as lipstick being eaten of ones own lips from a plastic tube?
- Are girls affected or hyperfeminized?
- If testes are affected, are gametes (sperm) compromised or will sperm production be normal? are sperm damaged in some way?
- Do these chemicals harm already developed males and their genitals?
- Are phthalates listed on packaging under other names? Is this a group of chemicals?
- Undescended testes = sterility in men if they do not descend into the scrotum. Cound this be used to control other factors in a population through the use of these chemicals?
- Are these chemicals frequently in food packaging?
- Are the chemicals themselves the issue or the combination in the products themselves or people who use the products just more likely to be at risk for other things that cause these problems?