(NaturalNews) A recent study from the Cardiff University Otter Project
and Chemicals Health and Environment Department
in Wales, has found a potential link between the size of the penis bone and the amount of contamination and chemicals present in the water where they bathe, swim and eat from. Besides the hormonal changes affecting the otters' manhood, and potentially their ability to reproduce, there is also concern that the contamination is affecting other animals in similar or unique ways.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals
Endocrine disrupting chemicals could be to blame for the small penis bone size in otters, as well as the overall weight of the penis decreasing with new generations. More than that, undescended testicles are more and more present, and their sexual organs are showing indication of cysts.
Endocrine, or hormone, disruptors are chemicals that affect the hormone and other functions in animals and humans. Exposure has been linked to birth defects, development disorders, tumors and cysts, body deformation, learning disabilities, ADD, cognitive impairment, and more. While exposure might not necessarily always affect a pregnant woman in significant or obvious ways, it often affects the developing fetus.
A common hormone disruptor is Bisphenol A (BPA) found in many hard plastics and in the lining of tin cans. It has been shown to have effects similar to those above but also in feminizing males when the body treats the BPA as estrogen.
The effect on future generations of otters and man
With the banning of persistent organic pollutants in the 1970s, it allowed Mother Nature to clean up the rivers that the otters call home from some of the toxicity, resulting in an increase in the population of otters
. But now, with the resurgence of newer chemicals that fall under the endocrine disruptor umbrella, more of the same is going on, a decrease in populations as a result of the affected hormones.
The study brings up the question of endocrine disrupting chemicals and their connections to human males with the increasing cases of low sperm count, malformed genitals and undescended testicles.
Sources for this article include:http://inhabitat.comhttp://edrv.endojournals.org/content/30/4/293.longhttp://inhabitat.comhttp://www.scientificamerican.comhttp://www.dailymail.co.ukAbout the author:
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