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April 30, 2005

Environment Plays Role in Sex of Child

Topics: Health Issues

Which one do you hope for, a baby boy or a baby girl? Can the environment make a difference? Some Swedish researchers seem to think so.

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- The sex of a child is determined by a man's sperm. An X chromosome results in a girl, and a Y chromosome brings about a baby boy. But now a new study finds the environment may have an impact on the X and Y chromosomes. It shows environmental pollutants could be changing the ratio of sperm carrying the X or Y chromosomes. Specifically, the research finds there's a slight increase in the number of sperm bearing the Y chromosome in men exposed to pollutants.

For the study, Swedish researchers looked at the effects of persistent organochlorine pollutants (POPs) among 149 Swedish fishermen. The men fished in the Baltic Sea, which is heavily polluted. The fishermen are affected because they often consume large quantities of local fish.

Researchers found fishermen with a larger amount of two main POPs in their blood had a significant increase in the number of Y chromosomes in their sperm. Researchers also say age, smoking and hormone levels did not change this outcome.   Read more ...

Posted by Hyscience at April 30, 2005 1:21 PM

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