Just what does the environment do to our reproductive system?

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Like Marie at Green Fertility always talks about, there is a war going on out there against our (yes, OUR..everyone’s) reproductive systems. Whether by drugs, the environment, hormones in our foods or whatever, things are taking a toll on our ability as humans to procreate. From an article over at AlterNet:

In California, female sea lions are spontaneously aborting their fetuses.

In the Great Lakes area, mother gulls are sharing nests and raising eggs together because their male partners have forgotten how to parent.

In upstate New York, female frogs have as much testosterone in their bodies as males.

Scientists say these aberrations all share a common link: exposure to toxic chemicals called “endocrine disruptors,” which pollute the air, soil and water.

Um, yikes? Um, no thanks? Need more proof:

Common endocrine disruptors include pesticides, phthalates (which make plastic flexible and make cosmetics adhere to the skin) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, industrial cooling agents banned in the United States in 1979 but still present in the environment.) Individual chemicals such as these — or groups of them working together — are making animals’ hormones go haywire.

In Washington state, endocrine disruptors have been tied to the deaths of mother orcas, whose orphans have been adopted by other female whales. Some waterfowl and fish are experiencing ‘feminization’ from chemicals.

In Alaska, they have caused female polar bears’ ovaries to shrink.

In Massachusetts, they have lowered the over-winter survival rates of female tree swallows.

In Florida, they have accumulated in the milk of mother dolphins, poisoning and killing their calves.

Ok, now obviously the environment is having an effect on the animals on this planet. But those are animals you say, not humans. Well, how about:

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which tests the “body burden” of chemicals every two years, finds the average American now has 116 synthetic compounds in her body, including dioxin (produced by burning plastic), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (found in auto exhaust) and organochlorine pesticides (found in farming areas).

Egads! Somebody please make it stop. Marie, can you make it stop? You are much better at explaining this stuff than I am…please?

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