Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Frogs' Sex Changed by Pollutants

Frogs' Sex Changed by Pollutants Marlowe Hood, AFP Feb. 27, 2007 — "Frogs that began life as male tadpoles can be changed into females by estrogen-like pollutants similar to those found in the environment, according to a new study.

The results may shed light on one reason up to a third of frog species around the world are threatened with extinction. The study is set to appear in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in May."

Anyone who's seen Jurassic Park can tell you what happens when frogs switch gender. But the chemical effects of our sludge can have even more of an impact than tipping androgynous frogs.

Many years ago I saw a report on some science blurb that found the frogs living close to the factories which produce cans for food were all being born female. Some extensive testing was done on the frogs & the water and found that the chemicals used to coat the food storage cans that keeps the contents from spoiling, like those which hold soup and such, killed the sperm which carries the Y chromosome in men. Thus only girls were being conceived. Anecdotal evidence for this is the proliferation of baby girls that just about everyone I know are having. Also, when I saw this report, I cut way back on eating food from cans for years. In 1996 we had a baby boy. Proof? No. But that doesn't mean the research findings aren't worth considering.

If you are planning on having children someday, make sure you have the male partner (be it you or your other) abstain from canned goods as much as possible if you want a boy. Will it work? Maybe, maybe not. But it can't hurt.

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