Prior to July, 1995 ZetaTalk stated that Worldwide Infertility was being affected by PCB's that had leaked and spread into the water and food chain; on August, 1996, articles about the Endocrine Disruptor PCB appeared, followed by more such news.
Endocrine Disruptors, Pesticides
Pesticides and their possible link to endocrine (hormone) disruptors have been in the news since the book Our Stolen Future by Theo Colburn, John Peterson Myers, and Dianne Dumanoski was published. Vice President Al Gore has compared the book with Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, which warned against the threats posed by pesticides like DDT. Gore writes in the book's foreword: Our Stolen Future takes up where Carson left off and reviews a large and growing body of scientific evidence linking synthetic chemicals to aberrant sexual development and behavioral and reproductive problems." Research has suggested that the average male sperm count has plunged by almost a half in the past 50 years. Synthetic chemicals such as pesticides, plastics, detergents, and toiletries are suspected as interferring with the human hormone system.
A study from Tulane University has added to the controversy. A report in the journal Science found that in some cases the combinations of chemicals would be additive. John McLachlan of Tulane University said, "We found in some cases that one plus one equals a thousand." Although chemicals in the environment are much less potent than natural estrogens, the effects of combinations of the compounds were 10 to 1,600 times more potent than the individual compounds in activating estrogen receptor-mediated transcription. Lynn Goldman, Chief of the USEPA Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances said the McLachlan study will have to be verified in other labs. Other scientists also said that the work will have to be double-checked by other researchers.
The USEPA has taken several steps to address this issue. The American Crop Protection Association and the Chemical Manufacturers Association stated, "As EPA decides how to address endocrine disrupting chemicals, remember pesticides already are subjected to much testing." The USEPA said in a background paper (EPA Activities on Endocrine Disruptors) that "they believe the potential implications of endocrine disruptors for our children and for our future are serious enough to warrant the Agency taking prudent, preventive steps, without waiting for the research to be complete." Although much more research needs done on this issue, it will play a role in future pesticide rules and regulations. The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 added provisions for endocrine testing to current law.
(Adapted from Sun Times, June 7, 1996; Science, June 7, 1996; U.S. News & World Report, March 11, 1996; P&TCN, July 17, 1996; EPA Background Paper: EPA Activities on Endocrine Disruptors; and EPA email messages)
Sperm on the Wane: Scientists
Montreal Gazette, June 22, 2001
Scientists from around the world are alarmed by a dramatic increase in genetically damaged human sperm - a trend that is not only causing infertility in men, but also childhood cancers in the offspring of those who can reproduce.