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Gender Measure: Pollutant appears to alter boys' genitals

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).

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