Does Pollution Cause More Girls to be Born than Boys?

Something strange is happening on the Aamjiwnaang First Nation reservation in Canada, just across the border from Michigan: many more girls are being born than boys, and the reason might be toxic pollution ...

The steepest sex ratio declines observed in the world have occurred on the 3,000-acre Aamjiwnaang (pronounced AH-jih-nahng) First Nation reservation in Canada.

The ratio of boys to girls there began dropping in the early 1990s, according to data published in 2005 in Environmental Health Perspectives. Between 1999 and 2003, researchers found, only 46 boys were born out of 132 recorded births.

"You get angry and you get worried, thinking what could be causing this," said Ada Lockridge, a member of the tribe who compiled the data and has since become an activist. "And then you want to learn more."

Dozens of petrochemical, polymer and chemical plants border the reservation on three sides. Mercury and PCBs contaminate the creek that runs through the land, and air-quality studies show the highest toxic releases in Canada, said Jim Brophy, executive director of Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers, based in Sarnia, the nearest city.

Several months ago, Brophy and co-worker Margaret Keith did additional calculations, finding that boys made up only 42 percent of the 171 babies born from 2001 to 2005 to Aamjiwnaang living on the reserve or nearby.

"A disruption in the sex ratio of this magnitude has to be taken seriously," Brophy said.

Link (Photo: Heather Stone / Tribune)


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In Canada, if a Full Blooded native woman marries a non native man, she looses native status. So in practice, if very few native men are being born compared to native women, there is the very real chance that within a few generations there won't be anyone left on the reservation recognized as a native since native status follows the male line and no males means no native status.

So I really don't expect any Government would do anything about it even if it is confirmed to be from toxins. The Canadian Government has an interest in this happening.
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Kind of off topic, but kind of not, I read something where estrogen or other hormones pumped into water by labs and chemical companies can cause feminized fish and even some evidence of it in humans (though low instances). I wonder if this is even true, but if so, is it related?
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42% male- and this ratio is coming from no more than 300 births in a 6 year period (the dates overlap). I dont understand the concern. Is having 58% girls some horrible devistating thing?
If they had 58% kids with downs syndrome or autism, that would be something to worry about. But having healthy female daughters??
I am going to put my fema-nazi hat on for one moment...
By all means, clean up the pollution- but the implication that their daughters gender is a birth defect is just wrong.
Wold they complian if they had 58% male children?
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I'm all for ridding the environment of toxins, and that's all well and good, but I think it's a bit of a stretch to blame them for the boy/girl ratio.
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