(NaturalNews) In a bombshell finding that has far-reaching implications for society and culture, scientists at the University of Rochester have found that phthalates -- the chemical found in many vinyl and plastic products -- tends to "feminize" boys, altering their brains to express more feminine characteristics. The study has been published in the Journal of Andrology.
Phthalates are found in vinyl products (including vinyl flooring), PVC shower curtains, plastic furniture and even in the plastic coating of the insides of dishwashing machines.
The feminization process happens during pregnancy when phthalate exposure causes hormone disruptions in the unborn baby. This chemical feminizes males by disrupting the action of the hormone testosterone.
In this recent study, researchers found a strong correlation between the types of toys that male children play with and the level of phthalates found in their mothers when they were pregnant. Researchers discovered that boys exposed to high levels of phthalates in the womb tend to avoid playing with cars, trains or toy guns. They also avoided rough play, instead preferring more feminine toys and activities. (Barbie?)
Phthalates used in pharmaceutical coatings
What very few people know about phthalates is that they are used in the coatings of pharmaceuticals to create "enteric" coatings. This means that many people taking certain pharmaceuticals are unknowingly eating phthalates. If expectant mothers take such pharmaceuticals during pregnancy, they may then feminize their unborn male babies.
How do we know phthalates are used in pharmaceuticals? This Google Books link (http://books.google.com/books?id=e7_Gpn5BgcY...) shows a page from the Handbook of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Formulations: Over-the-counter products. In it, a recipe is given for manufacturing a clear enteric coating. The ingredients are:
"...the enteric coating polymer is selected from the group consisting of cellulose acetate phthalate, polyvinyl acetate phthalate, methacrylicacid copolymer, cellulose acetate trimellitate, shellac, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose phthalate, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose acetate succinate and combination thereof."
Another section says:
"..the plasticizer is selected from diethyl phthalate, dibutyl phthalate, cetyl alcohol, polyethylene glycol-4000, triethyl citrate, triacetin or propylene glycol."
Now here's the real kicker: The drug companies are pushing to have expectant mothers dosed with antidepressant drugs during pregnancy! This is supposedly to prevent "post-partum depression" but the real reason is because Big Pharma simply wants to sell more drugs and pregnant women are the next target on the list.
But taking these drugs results in toxic phthalate levels in the body that are 50 times greater than a "normal" contamination level. As this study published in Environmental Health Perspectives explains:
"Select medications might be a source of high exposure to some phthalates, one of which, DBP, shows adverse developmental and reproductive effects in laboratory animals. These results raise concern about potential human health risks, specifically among vulnerable segments of the general population and particularly pregnant women and children." (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC...)
If expectant mothers are taking more antidepressants coated with phthalates that cause the feminization of boys, we are going to be looking at the mass feminization of males in modern society.
Along with this mass feminization, you can expect to see dropping sperm counts (already happening), increased infertility and the emergence of more feminine physical characteristics among men.
Many would say this hormonal shift is already underway.
Macho Macho Man! (to quote The Village People)
If you look at the transformation of men in modern society over the last 50 years or so, there appears to be a measurable trend towards more feminine looks and behavior. NaturalNews doesn't judge this one way or the other -- it's just an observation of a trend.
We all need to be mindful when discussing this topic due to potential issues ranging from male "femininity" to homosexuality. There is no indication from this particular study that phthalate exposure in the womb tends to cause boys to adhere to any particular sexual orientation, but it's probably a question that scientists will be asking: Does exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals tend to alter the behavioral sexual expression of developing babies?
And if so, what's "normal" anyway? Is it normal for boys to grow up playing with toy guns and fighting all the time? Some might label that an overly-aggressive expression of testosterone. It is arguably too much testosterone that has landed our planet in a perpetual state of military conflict, after all. Clearly, this research brings up some intriguing questions about nutrition, chemical exposure, sexual orientation and societal norms. It all deserves a tremendous amount of thoughtful discussion.
In any case, there does seem to be a subtle shift taking place toward the feminization of men. The full extent of the role of plastics chemicals in this matter has yet to be understood, but it certainly has an impact.
A recent 326-page report from the State of Denmark, by the way, warns that today's children are exposed to hundreds of "gender-bender" chemicals found in products like sunscreen lotions, moisturizing creams, rubber boots and bed linens (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthcommen...). The title of the article? "Why boys are turning into girls..."
Does taking the Pill make feminine men more attractive to women?
At the same time this is going on, there is evidence that women who take birth control pills also have their hormones unknowingly altered to be more attracted to feminine males.
As long as we're on this touchy subject, I might as well mention that PETA recently ran advertisements claiming that hormones in animal products cause men to grow "man boobs." Their campaign slogan is, "Dude looks like a lady. Lose the breasts. Go vegetarian." (http://blog.peta.org/archives/2009/09/peta_e...)
These are just a few examples of the complex issues that surface during any investigation of sexual expression, sexual orientation and the consumption of chemically-laced foods or medicines. Clearly, what you put in your mouth (or on your skin) affects your hormone balance, and today's consumers are assaulted with a bewildering array of toxic chemical substances such as phthalates.
Body care products are another source of phthalates
As it turns out, foods and pharmaceuticals may not be the only source of phthalate exposure you need to be concerned about. Phthalates are also commonly used in personal care products -- especially "baby" products such as baby shampoos, baby lotions and baby powders. From Wikipedia:
"Body care products containing phthalates are a source of exposure for infants. The authors of a 2008 study 'observed that reported use of infant lotion, infant powder, and infant shampoo were associated with increased infant urine concentrations of [phthalate metabolites], and this association is strongest in younger infants. These findings suggest that dermal exposures may contribute significantly to phthalate body burden in this population.' Though they did not examine health outcomes, they noted that "Young infants are more vulnerable to the potential adverse effects of phthalates given their increased dosage per unit body surface area, metabolic capabilities, and developing endocrine and reproductive systems."
So even if your baby is born with a macho mustache and leather tool belt already buckled around his waist, exposure to phthalate chemicals in baby personal care products might disrupt his hormones and have a feminizing effect. It's yet another reason to avoid all conventional personal care products. (Phthalates aren't the only chemical contaminant found in those toxic products...)
Drink from glass if you want to stay hormonally balanced
Phthalates aren't the only chemicals you need to avoid in plastics -- there's also BPA (Bisphenol-A). To avoid such gender-bender chemicals, hormonally-aware men like Daniel Vitalis (www.DanielVitalis.com) drink only from glass containers. They avoid plastics like the plague. "When you drink bottled water," Vitalis once told me, "you're actually drinking a 'plastic tea' beverage."
And that plastic tea may very well disrupt your hormones, causing strange biological effects for both men and women. Think about that the next time you pick up a bottle of water bottled by Coke or Pepsi (Dasani or Aquafina).
If you want to protect your manliness (or your womanhood), stay away from plastics! Doubly so if you're a soon-to-be mom and you want your child to be born with unaltered hormone function.
For all the men out there, stay away from pharmaceuticals, since you never know what sort of bizarre chemical concoctions might be coating those pills. Swallowing enteric-coated antidepressants may very well lead to the shrinkage of your precious man junk, causing even more serious depression!
Editor's note: I realize the subjects presented here may create a firestorm of discussion or debate among NaturalNews readers. For the record, NaturalNews does not condone the idea that little boys have to play with cars and toy guns to be considered "normal." And men don't necessarily have to be macho macho men in order to be "real" men. There are too many gender stereotypes in society today, including the idea that little girls have to play with Barbie dolls to be normal. My personal view is that I honor and respect each individual human being for who they are, regardless of their sexual orientation, skin color, religious beliefs, etc. And in terms of gender expression, my own opinion is that parental messages and societal cues probably have at least as much impact on gender expression as hormone-disrupting chemicals. Feel free to discuss these topics in the comment section, below.
Hernández-Díaz S, Mitchell AA, Kelley KE, Calafat AM, Hauser R (February 2009). "Medications as a potential source of exposure to phthalates in the U.S. population". Environ. Health Perspect. 117 (2): 185–9. doi:10.1289/ehp.11766. PMID 19270786
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