In the News: Gender bending chemicals raise risk of cancer and infertility in unborn boys

An alarming report published and released by the government recently suggests that chemicals in food, cosmetics and cleaning products may be ‘feminising’ unborn boys and increasing their risk of cancer and infertility in later life.

It appears that so called ‘gender bending’ chemicals – which block the action of the male hormone testosterone, or mimic the female sex hormone oestrogen, and which are found in everyday substances – may be linked to increasing rates of birth defects and testicular cancer and to falling sperm counts. These chemicals may be harmless on their own, but their cumulative effect could have devastating consequences for a developing foetus and women trying for a child are urged to avoid them.


Research is preliminary and ongoing, but ‘gender bending’ chemicals that all pregnant women are urged to avoid include:


          Parabens found in cosmetics, creams, lotions and deodorants.

          Phthalates found in shower curtains, solvents, vinyl flooring, PVC and plastics.

          Tricloslan found in soap, toothpaste and chopping boards.

          Bispehnol A found in clear plastic baby bottles, tin cans and mobile phone castings.

          PCBs found in electrical circuits, paints and brake linings.

          Linuron/diuron found in herbicides used to control weeds on roads and farms and forests.

          Vinclozolin, a fungicide found on imported fruit and vegetables.

          Prochloraz, a fungicide used on fruits and vegetables.

          Procymidone, a fungicide found in beans and breakfast cereals.


Until more is known about the effects of these chemicals my advice to all pregnant women is to keep cosmetic use to a minimum, choose unscented products, stop using perfume and avoid colouring hair, gardening and DIY. You can go to Natural Lifestyle Products or call 9845 8800915 to get a brochure showing which cosmetics, toiletries and household products are available that do not contain these ‘gender bending’ substances.

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