Are endocrine disruptors making it so that fewer males are born?

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, The EPA, And ‘The Disappearing Male’ [Videos]

The video below was released as environmental experts started to more seriously examine the case of “the disappearing male” and linking it to man-made chemicals that were accidentally functioning as endocrine disruptors. In species from alligators to humans, males were being born less frequently than they were before, they claimed.

“The Disappearing Male” (a documentary now on Vimeo from Life in Pierce County) called the case of the disappearing male gender “about one of the most important, and least publicized, issues facing the human species.” The investigators said that endocrine disruptors can be found in almost everything, and they are sometimes called “hormone mimicking chemicals.” Endocrine disruptors are found in products from pacifiers to toothpaste to antibacterial soap!

Nearly five years later, on June 30, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finally released the very first Tier 1 assessments in the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP). These chemicals are finally getting the attention they warrant, but is it enough? Tier 1 screening results are available online from the EPA for many very common chemicals, but not everyone is satisfied with the EPA’s assessments.

One of the most common and highly debated chemicals studied for the first Tier 1 assessments in the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) from the EPA was glyphosate, one of the chemicals found in Monsanto’s RoundUp. AG Professionals reported, “On 29 June, the EPA released a memorandum concluding that ‘glyphosate demonstrates no convincing evidence of potential interaction with estrogen, androgen or thyroid pathways in mammals.’ It also said that the next level of testing ‘is not recommended for glyphosate since there was no convincing evidence of potential interaction with estrogen, androgen or thyroid pathways.'” So, glyphosate is safe from further testing in the program.

Many aren’t satisfied, because glyphosate is the most commonly used herbicide and can be found in trace amounts in nearly every food item that is made from genetically modified crops. It’s even believed to be affecting our earthworms! The EPA’s tests did include examining how glyphosate interacts with the androgen pathways, which include testosterone, and the herbicide didn’t come up perfectly innocent towards developing and reproducing males. When testing androgen effects, the EPA’s findings indicated that rats’ sperm counts were decreased, separation of the prepuce from the glans of the penis occurred, and decreases in the body weight of offspring was seen among birds from certain levels of gylphosate exposure. These problems weren’t serious enough to warrant further testing in the program. In another study (not affiliated with the EPA release, but published in the Archives of Toxicology), the herbicide glyphosate in its commercial formulation was called a “potent endocrine disruptor” for males.

Of course, DDT warnings were widely ignored at first too. Warnings against DDT use went back as far as the early 50’s when Dr. Morton Biskind, concluded DDT was “dangerous for all animal life from insects to mammals.” It wasn’t banned in the U.S. until nearly two decades later. Watch this next video below, and let The Inquisitr know if you feel that the EPA has done enough to stop the growing issue of “the disappearing male.”

[Photo via Pixabay]

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