PCB Contamination Favors Fathering Sons


Men with higher levels of the toxic chemicals PCBs in their bodies are more likely to father boys than girls, according to a report in the latest edition of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The researchers collected data from three studies of men who ate PCB-contaminated fish from Lake Michigan, and found that of the 208 children born to the men, 57 percent were boys. "A change in the proportion of boys to girls... indicates that environmental contaminants may play a role in human reproduction," said Wilfried Karmaus, an associate professor of epidemiology at Michigan State University who directed the study.

PCBs come from a variety of sources, including hydraulic fluids and oils, electrical capacitors and transformers, and paper mills along the shoreline.

The effect was seen only in men. "We did not detect that the PCB levels of mothers affected the number of boys or girls," said Karmaus.

Story from United Press via Arcmax.com

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