Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hermaphroditism a service delivery issue


WATER BABIES: The Jukskei River, north of Johannesburg, is highly contaminated by chemical pollutants and dangerous bacteria. According to a (Times) reader poor water-purification systems are responsible for some instances of reproductive damage.

One thing you can be sure of is that the ANC will turn any controversy into a race issue because all they have to offer the poor is words and yet more words.

But perhaps there is an upside to the country's gradual de-industrialisation due to capital flight from crony capitalism - less pollution.

The "abelungu" - scum from the sea - built the factories that produce cold water Omo and other detergents for the poor to use, but not on the understanding that the rivers would become severely polluted through over-use.

Water pollution is a problem in first world countries, but the South African poor will be forced to endure far more incidences of pollutant induced hermaphrodism and other defects from all kinds of effluent, not least the kind flowing from government mouths.

JJE van Zyl wrote in to The Times concerning the hermaphrodite furore:

As usual, the devil is in the detail — and though this has, to a large extent, been detailed in the press, people do not read widely — so most will not get the complete message but only what their “leaders” give them in the media.

The message that the people are receiving is confusing and frustrating, with no one taking the blame.

People are vaguely aware of the effect of certain chemicals on our reproductive organs, such as the organophosphates in detergents. These pseudo sex hormones came into the spotlight during the much-publicised bizarre state of reptile genitalia in the US Everglades, which was caused by chemical pollution of the water.

However, this fact can be distorted and misunderstood when it manifests itself as massively reduced sperm count in men, and a substantial increase in the birth of hermaphrodites, especially to the poor and uneducated in our communities, who are made to believe that it is God’s will (or witchcraft), leaving them without the knowledge to protect themselves.

Eventually, the effect of water pollution and collapsed purification systems brought on by poor service delivery raises its ugly head. The statistics are not sought because it will reflect badly on those responsible (the government) and if they are made available “they” will scream “discrimination” to protect their incompetent or corrupt associates — as their supporters do not read widely.

The people are thus vulnerable and will bear the consequences of those tactics.

****

And also:

Men really are the weaker sex, according to a new scientific study that shows that the male gender – both in humans and in wildlife – is in danger due to pollution.

A variety of common chemicals is ‘feminizing males’ of every class of vertebrate animals from fish to mammals.

The study is backed by some of the world’s leading scientists, who say that evolution itself is being disrupted due to chemicals that have “gender-bending” effects.

From The Independent: It also follows hard on the heels of new American research which shows that baby boys born to women exposed to widespread chemicals in pregnancy are born with smaller penises and feminised genitals.

“This research shows that the basic male tool kit is under threat,” says Gwynne Lyons, a former government adviser on the health effects of chemicals, who wrote the report.

Wildlife and people have been exposed to more than 100,000 new chemicals in recent years, and the European Commission has admitted that 99 per cent of them are not adequately regulated.

There is not even proper safety information on 85 per cent of them. Many have been identified as “endocrine disrupters” – or gender-benders – because they interfere with hormones. These include phthalates, used in food wrapping, cosmetics and baby powders among other applications; flame retardants in furniture and electrical goods; PCBs, a now banned group of substances still widespread in food and the environment; and many pesticides.

The report concludes, “Males of species from each of the main classes of vertebrate animals (including bony fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) have been affected by chemicals in the environment.

“Feminisation of the males of numerous vertebrate species is now a widespread occurrence. All vertebrates have similar sex hormone receptors, which have been conserved in evolution. Therefore, observations in one species may serve to highlight pollution issues of concern for other vertebrates, including humans.”

In addition to the other pollutants named, scientists say that large amounts of female hormones in the form of contraceptive pills have been passing unaltered through sewage treatment and may be a major cause of this phenomenon.

Some species are responding to this by becoming hermaphrodites – as in the case of the Australian cane toad and some polar bears – or changing from males to females, as in the case of cockroaches. Fish seem to be affected more than other species. An astounding 50% of male fish in British lowland rivers have been found to be developing eggs in their testes.

0 Opinion(s):