Plastic linked to smaller penises

Nice. No wonder the Republican EPA wants to ensure phthalates in the nation’s water supply: parity. Republicans already start out with a disadvantage, they are looking for anything that can even the odds.

Exposure of expectant mothers to phthalates, a common ingredient in many plastics, has been linked to smaller penis size and incomplete descent of testicles in their baby boys, according to a new research paper that found the chemical also appears to make the overall genital tracts of boys slightly more feminine.

The findings are sure to add more controversy to phthalates, a chemical that is added to polyvinyl chloride plastic to make it less brittle, and to many types of personal care products including fragrances, hair sprays and nail polish.

The research was conducted on children from three different areas of the United States, and found a strong statistical correlation between expectant mothers who had above-average levels of the chemical in their urine while pregnant and the feminizing effect on their sons.

Phthalates are “probably reproductive toxins and should be eliminated from products gradually because we don’t need them,” said Shanna Swan, director of the Center for Reproductive Epidemiology at the University of Rochester’s school of medicine, who led the team of scientists who examined the boys.

The paper is published in the current issue of the journal Environmental Research.

[From globeandmail.com: Plastics ingredient linked to smaller penises]

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