Gender Measure: Pollutant appears to alter boys' genitals | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


News

Gender Measure: Pollutant appears to alter boys' genitals

By
11:12am, June 1, 2005

Infant boys who were exposed in the womb to modest concentrations of certain common plasticizers and solvents developed genital changes including smaller-than-normal penises, a new study finds.

The results from this study of 85 boys are consistent with what researchers have seen in laboratory animals treated with the chemicals, which are called phthalates. In such tests, the substances impair fetal production of testosterone and other male sex hormones (SN: 4/3/99, p. 213: http://www.sciencenews.org/pages/sn_arc99/4_3_99/fob3.htm).

In the current study, mothers with the highest phthalate exposures bore boys with slightly less space between the gonads and anus than did mothers with less phthalate exposure, as gauged by the women's urine concentrations of the chemicals during

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content