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Town with only girls
December 20, 2010, 1:57 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

INDEPENDENT: Something very strange is happening in a small but highly polluted Canadian community. And it may explain why every year thousands of British babies who should be boys are born as girls instead. Young boys are becoming hard to find on the Chippewa Indian reservation in the gritty town of Sarnia, in Ontario’s “Chemical Valley”. It boasts four children’s softball teams, but three of them are made up entirely of girls.

Research shows that the number of boys being born to the community has been dropping precipitously for the past 13 years, while the proportion of baby girls has risen. Now there are twice as many female births as male ones, though nature normally keeps the sexes in balance.Scientists increasingly believe that pollution is to blame and that what has happened here – and among some other highly contaminated groups of people in other countries – may solve an enduring mystery of “missing boys” in maternity units throughout the industrialised world.Normally, and with remarkable consistency around the globe, 106 boys are born for every 100 girls; the excess is thought to be nature’s way of compensating for the fact that males were more likely to be killed through hunting and conflicts.But this figure has been slowly declining in rich countries over the past quarter of a century. In Britain it has fallen to about 105 since 1977 -which suggests that every year more than 3,000 babies are born as girls instead boys. Studies have revealed much the same story in the US, Canada, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries.Suggested explanations have included increasing stress and rising numbers of single mothers; women in difficulties, it has been found, produce more girls than boys. But what is happening in Sarnia, on the US Canadian border, is increasingly turning the spotlight on pollution.The Chippewa Indians of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation Community have long lived in the area, on the southern tip of Lake Huron, not far from Detroit. Their right to the land was confirmed in 1827, but much of it was taken over by industry in the 1960s.Now their woods and homes are entirely surrounded by one of the world’s most extensive petrochemical complexes, producing 40 per cent of Canada’s entire output of plastics, synthetic rubber and other chemical compounds. The air stinks, and the ground is contaminated with high levels of dangerous pollutants.

Taken from and read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/pollution-where-have-all-the-baby-boys-gone-472477.html

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