Friday, April 9, 2010

Men...could your drinking water be turning you into a woman?

Men...could your drinking water be turning you into a woman?

Dear Reader,

Remember that old Saturday Night Live bit where muscle-bound Germans Hanz and Franz accuse guys of being girly-men? Well a substance—banned almost 20 years ago—could be turning that bit of comedy into a frightening reality.

Atrazine was banned in German and Italy in 1991. The entire European Union put the cabash on the creepy-chemical in 2004. But as I write this to you today, it is the second most common weedkiller in the United States.

The chemical is being liberally sprayed on corn crops and our lawns. And that’s how it’s seeping into the groundwater and lingering in streams, rivers, lakes, and yes, ending up in your tap water.

Atrazine is what is known as an endocrine disrupter. It’s a synthetic chemical that your body perceives to be a natural estrogen or testosterone, for example. And here’s where it really starts to get scary. The disrupters, once locked into place, can deliver jumbled instructions to the body resulting in some horror movie results like deformed limbs and frightening sexual changes.

In one recent University of California-Berkley experiment, 10% of male frogs exposed to the same amount of atrazine the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) says is acceptable in our drinking water went through a gender-bending sex reversal. They literally developed female anatomy. Some of them even grew eggs in their testes and were able to reproduce!

The male frogs that didn’t switch sexes weren’t spared humiliation. They were essentially chemically castrated. Left with low testosterone and sperm levels they were unable to reproduce.

What really scares the bejesus out of me is that nobody knows what atrazine is doing to human beings.

It’s already been tied to low sperm counts in men. And new research has shown a possible link between human birth defects and low birth weights when there is atrazine exposure in the womb.

But the big unanswered question is what else might it be doing to us? No one can say for sure that it’s not leading us down that same girly-man path that the frogs took.

Europe saw the writing on the wall years ago and banned this dangerous chemical. It’s well past time for us to follow-suit.

Casting a wary eye on my drinking water,

Alice Wessendorf

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Posted via email from rhauptman's posterous

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