It is getting harder and harder to separate the men from the boys these days and maybe even getting harder to separate the men from the women. It is not a matter of keeping them apart, but telling them apart. Men and women are becoming more and more alike. Alarmingly, problems with reproduction in humans and animals are increasing from toxins in the environment, some natural and some unnatural, some real hormones and some fake.
Studies show that more and more chemicals called endocrine disrupters are being used that disrupt the endocrine system where hormones are regulated. An endocrine disruptor is an agent that acts like a hormone and disrupts the function of the actual hormone. Hormonal differences that define a male as a male or a female as a female are disrupted.
Many products today contain hormone-disrupting chemicals that interfere with production of the male sex hormone, testosterone. They are used in a variety of common consumer and household products, including children's toys. One would wonder how these chemicals are allowed on the market. According to researchers, the majority of the more than 2,000 chemicals that come onto the market every year do not go through even the simplest tests to determine toxicity. Even when some tests are carried out, they do not assess whether or not a chemical has endocrine interfering properties.
Aside from the hormonal alterations, males are exhibiting decreased sperm counts, delayed puberty, feminization and atrophy of reproductive organs. Effects of endocrine disruptors on females exhibit accelerated puberty, decreased fertility, altered menstrual cycle, and ovarian malfunction. As our ability to reproduce is threatened, our immune systems are also being compromised. The human race is slowly altering itself mostly from pesticides and other chemicals.
The list of hormone disruptors is long and getting longer. There are literally hundreds of compounds such as DDT, PCBs, dioxins, furans and others that are endocrine disruptors. Even though we no longer use DDT, it has entered the food chain and is stored in body fat with all the rest of the other chemicals. When pesticide compounds enter our environment they continue up the food chain. They do not just go away
. Sarah Janssen, reproductive scientist and physician with NRDC says, “We don’t live in laboratories – we live in the real world where we are exposed to multiple chemicals from multiple sources every day.” The EPA needs to look at the fact that we live in a toxic soup of chemicals starting before birth and continuing throughout our lives.
Endocrine disruptors can be found in foods as pesticides or as the food itself. In the book, Our Stolen Future, studies are cited in which nature creates its own similar plant compounds that alter hormones. They are found in foods such as parsley, sage, garlic, wheat, oats, rye, barley, rice, potatoes, carrots, peas, beans, soybeans, alfalfa sprouts, apples, cherries, plums, and pomegranates. They can even be found in coffee, bourbon whiskey and marijuana.
Endocrine disruptors have also been found in clover. There is the case of the Australian sheep ranchers who imported non-native clover. The better their fields of clover grew, the less sheep they had. Lambs were being born stillborn, or died without birthing. It became a real Silent Spring when fertilization stopped as ‘clover disease’ eventually sterilized their flocks. The clover plant had a self-defense strategy that worked by masculinizing the females and feminizing the males and making them sterile.
Earth’s water ways are being deluged with endocrine disruptors that sewage treatment plants cannot remove. Dioxins dumped into streams from paper mills never go away. There is no such place as away. Studies of male fish in rivers in Europe say that 50 to 100 per cent have developed eggs in their testes, and/or female reproductive ducts. In 2004, researchers on the Potomac River, near Washington, D.C. found large-mouth bass that in most respects were males, but who had eggs in their sexual organs. These chemicals are truly ‘gender benders’.
There are those who will tell you that people choose their sexual life style. I argue that it is not a choice. It is a flip of the dice in a chemical soup of real and fake hormones. Our sexuality is a delicate balance of testosterone and estrogen, hormones deciding whether our bodies will form into male, female or some combination of the two. It can be confusing enough for us to deal with our sexuality and to live our lives with some sense of order and purpose. But when the natural order of things gets disrupted and our hormones take off on some kind of wild ride, we certainly do not need some homophobic fundamentalists telling us we have chosen our hormones, fake or otherwise, not in this chemical soup. We get no choice in this. We have been contaminated!
Have you ever wondered why so many people are anti-gay? Who is getting them so worked up about this issue? Maybe they are being fed ‘talking points” from the big chemical companies that do not want them to know what pesticides and other chemicals are doing to the human race. The real effects are upon our hormones. Would the makers of these products want the public to understand the reason why so many people are being born with hormonal imbalances?
This last year a petition from the UFW, United Field Workers went out about a deadly pesticide called Endosulfan. They sent this petition to the EPA asking them to ban Endosulfan, considered a dangerous pesticide. They said, “The European Union and several other countries have already banned Endosulfan as less dangerous alternatives are available.” Then they went on to say,” It is acutely toxic and easily absorbed by the human body. Low levels of exposure in the womb have been linked to autism, male reproductive harm and other birth defects. It is an organochlorine--which means it persists in our environment long after it has killed the target pests--thus leaving a deadly legacy for people and wildlife.” Sounds like another ‘gender bender’ to me.
I am concerned for my children. Are they contaminated? Is that why my daughter cannot have a child, because of all the salmon I ate as a child that was tainted with dioxin from the local paper mill? My own breast milk was bad for my babies. It made them ill. That is how mother’s bodies get rid of the toxins, through their milk. I know that now. Had I kept nursing them, they would have died. This deadly legacy, according to Rachael Carson’s Silent Spring, is the destruction of the human race which is threatened by these chemicals that are now everywhere in the environment. No reproduction will be the final, deadly result.