Sex ratios being skewed toward girls, that’s a first considering the number of means in the market to get rid of unwanted girl child. However, in the cold arctic regions, particularly in the US and Japan having baby boys are becoming an increasing rarity. This pristine region has come under the deluge of toxic pollution from the rest of the world’s industrial runoffs.
The arctic is a sensitive pollution sink, which has succumbed to the toxic tide delivered by the winds and rivers from the northern hemisphere, poisoning its food chain. In the hardy conditions of the arctic, higher male mortality until date has been naturally compensated with a greater number of baby boys born as compared to the girls. Alas for the Inuit populations, the major proportion of their diet constitutes of fish which breeds in toxicity.
Scientists have identified the culprit as flame-retardant chemicals used in everything from industrial products to furniture, phones and laptops to the food chain, finding high levels of these pollutants in seabirds, seals and polar bears. Chemical flame retardants contain a host of chemicals some of which mimic human hormones. The 1960’s witnessed a worldwide ban on one category, PCBs, introduced after tests showed they had entered the food chain with potentially lethal consequences for humans and animals. However, the incorrigible chemicals industry continues to produce variations of the retardants, which scientists claim are not subject to the long-range testing required.
The missing boys would number more than 250,000 in the US and Japan, using the gender ratio at the levels recorded up until 1970. Danish scientists examined 480 families in the Russian Arctic and found high levels of the hormone-mimicking pollutants in the blood of pregnant women, and twice as many girls being born as boys. They are now studying similar communities in Greenland and Canada and although full results will be published next year, their initial findings exactly match those in Russia.
Generally, the arctic region is considered a precursor for things to follow around the world as we are all witnessing in climate change. Then are lesser baby boys going to be born around the world?
Source: The independent