According to a recent study done by scientists from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (Amap), man-made chemicals found in high concentrations in the blood of pregnant women in some Arctic villages appear to be causing drastic changes in the traditional gender ratios of their offspring.
The scientists point out that the findings may also provide a reasonable explanation for the recent excess of girl babies across much of the northern hemisphere, and are now broadening their investigation across the most acutely affected communities in Russia, Greenland and Canada. The focus now will be to determine the size of the imbalance, which may prove to be significant considering that the inhabitants of one village in Greenland have given birth exclusively to females recently.
After measuring the levels of man-made chemicals in the women's blood that mimic human hormones, scientists concluded that they were capable of triggering changes in the sex of unborn children during the first three weeks of pregnancy. And as Lars-Otto Reierson, executive secretary for Amap, pointed out: "We knew that the levels of man-made chemicals were accumulating in the food chain, and that seals, whales and particularly polar bears were getting a dose a million times higher than that existing in plankton, and that this could be toxic to humans who ate these higher animals. What was shocking was that they were also able to change the sex of children before birth."
Recently, the historical sex balance of the human race has begun to change around the world as well. Throughout history there has usually been a slightly greater number of males than females born each year, but a paper published in the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences this year said that in Japan and the US there were 250,000 boys fewer than would have been expected had the sex ratio existing in 1970 remained as it was.