Andy Coghlan in New Scientist:
“Gender-bending” chemicals mimicking the female hormone oestrogen can disrupt the development of baby boys, suggests the first evidence linking certain chemicals in everyday plastics to effects in humans.
The chemicals implicated are phthalates, which make plastics more pliable in many cosmetics, toys, baby-feeding bottles and paints and can leak into water and food.
All previous studies suggesting these chemicals blunt the influence of the male hormone testosterone on healthy development of males have been in animals. “This research highlights the need for tougher controls of gender-bending chemicals,” says Gwynne Lyons, toxics adviser to the WWF, UK. Otherwise, “wildlife and baby boys will be the losers”.