Packaging chemical could cheat men of sex appeal

June 29th, 2011 - 6:29 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 29 (IANS) A chemical found in food packaging could cheat a man of his virility and ability to attract females, a research said.

For instance, the study showed how male mice exposed to Bisphenol A (BPA) as babies became feminised.

Study author Cheryl Rosenfeld, associate professor at the University of Missouri, US, said the chemical had suppressed the early production of testosterone, which the females could sense.

“The BPA-exposed deer mice in our study look normal, there is nothing obviously wrong with them. Yet, they are clearly different,” she said, reports the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Females do not want to mate with BPA-exposed male deer mice, and BPA-exposed males perform worse on spatial navigation tasks that assess their ability to find female partners in the wild,” the Daily Mail quoted Rosenfeld as saying.

“These findings presumably have broad implications for other species, including humans, where there are also innate differences between males and females in cognitive and behavioral patterns,” Rosenfeld said.

BPA, used in hardening plastics, is one of the world’s most widely manufactured chemicals and can be found in dozens of everyday items, including baby bottles, CD cases and food and drink packaging.

Because the chemical mimics oestrogen, many scientists believe it interferes with the way hormones are processed by the body.

Although several animal studies have shown it to be safe, others have linked Bisphenol A to breast cancer, liver damage, obesity, diabetes and fertility problems.

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