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The Chemical Sunscreen Health Disaster

Free Radical Generators and Gender-Bending Estrogenic


For decades, irresponsible cosmetic companies and a small group of

very vocal, publicity-seeking dermatologists have strongly advocated
that chemical sunscreens should be heavily applied before any
exposure to sunlight, even on young children. They insisted that such
sunscreen use would prevent skin cancer and protect your health. This
was despite of a lack of any adequate safety testing of these chemicals.
(It should be emphasized that most dermatologists are much more
cautious and careful.)

On the other hand, over the past decade, many scientists studying
cancer have come to virtually the opposite conclusion; that is, the use
of sunscreen chemicals may be increasing the incidence of cancer and
that sunlight exposure may actually decrease human cancer rates and
improve your health.

It now appears that many heavily-used chemical sunscreens may

actually increase cancers by virtue of their free radical generating
properties. And more insidiously, many commonly used sunscreen
chemicals have strong estrogenic actions that may cause serious
problems in sexual development and adult sexual function, and may
further increase cancer risks.

It is not that these compounds were ever viewed as benign substances.

Organic chemists have been long aware of the dangers of compounds
in chemical sunscreens. Such chemicals are widely used to start free
radical reactions during chemical synthesis. These chemicals are the
dangerous types that one carefully keeps away from your skin while
working in a laboratory. To use them, you mix them into a
combination of other chemicals, then flash the mixture with an
ultraviolet light. The ultraviolet absorbing chemicals then generate
copious amounts of free radicals that initiated the desired chemical

Despite the medical establishment's near unanimity on the issue of

sunlight exposure, on other health issues in the past, serious errors
been promoted to the public.
1. In 1927, 12,745 physicians endorsed smoking Lucky Strike
cigarettes as a healthful activity. In the 1940s and 1950s, thousands
of prominent surgeons were used in national cigarette advertisements
to reassure the public about the safety of cigarette smoking.

2. In the 1950's, lobotomies were promoted for mental disorders

and produced near-totally dysfunctional people.

3. In the 1960's and 1970's, diets high in omega-6 polyunsaturated

fats and partially hydrogenated fatty acids such as safflower oil and
margarine were recommended to reduce heart disease. However, long
term studies found that, while such diets decreased heart disease,
they increased the total death rate and the cancer rate and produced
accelerated aging.

Chemical sunscreens have three primary defects:

Their free radical generation increases

cellular damage and changes that lead to
They are powerful free cancer.
radical generators. Psoralen - such a compound that is used
to treat psoriasis increases skin cancer
rates 83-fold.

Estrogenic - "Gender Bending" -

They often have chemicals interfere with normal sexual
2 strong estrogenic development -
activity. Engendering a host of secondary medical
problems - see more below.

The human body is well adapted to de-

They are synthetic toxify biologicals that it has been
chemicals that are exposed to over tens of millions of years.
3 alien to the human But it has often has difficulty removing
body and accumulate new and non-biological compounds such
in body fat stores. DDT, Dioxin, PCBs, and chemical

Chemical Sunscreens Include:

Benzophenones (dixoybenzone, oxybenzone)

PABA and PABA esters (ethyl dihydroxy propyl PAB, glyceryl PABA, p-
aminobenzoic acid, padimate-O or octyl dimethyl PABA)

Cinnamates (cinoxate, ethylhexyl p-methoxycinnamate, octocrylene,

octyl methoxycinnamate)

Salicylates (ethylhexyl salicylate, homosalate, octyl salicylate)

Digalloyl trioleate

Menthyl anthranilate

Avobenzone [butyl-methyoxydibenzoylmethane; Parsol 1789] - This is

the only chemical sunscreen currently allowed by the European
Community. However, its safety is still questionable since it easily
penetrates the skin and is a strong free radical generator.

Sunscreen Chemicals May Generate Free Radicals Within Your


Most chemical sunscreens contain, as UVA and UVB blockers, from 2 to

5% of compounds such avobenzone, benzophenone, ethylhexyl p-
methoxycinnimate, 2-ethylhexyl salicylate, homosalate, octyl
methoxycinnamate, oxybenzone (benzophenone-3) as the active
ingredients.Benzophenone (and similar compounds) is one of the most
powerful free radical generators known. It is used in industrial
processes as a free radical generator to initiate chemical reactions.
Benzophenone is activated by ultraviolet light energy that breaks
benzophenone's double bond to produce two free radical sites. The
free radicals then react with other molecules and produce damage to
the fats, proteins, and DNA of the cells - the types of damage that
produce skin aging and the development of cancer.

Adding to the problem is that large amounts of applied sunscreens can

enter the bloodstream though your skin. In the 1970s, Prof. Howard
Maibach warned that up to 35 percent of sunscreen applied to the skin
can pass through the skin and enter the bloodstream but this had little
effect on sunscreen promotion or safety testing. (Maibach, H. "NDELA-
Percutaneous Penetration." FDA Contract 223-75-2340, May 19, 1978)
The longer sunscreen chemicals are left on the skin, the greater the
absorption into the body. (Bronaugh, R.L., et al. "The effect of
cosmetic vehicles on the penetration of N-nitrosodiethanolamine
through excised human skin, J Invest Dermatol; 1981; 76(2): 94-96.)
This may be a factor in the large increases in cancer (breast, uterine,
colon, prostate) observed in regions, such as Northern Australia,
where the use of sunscreen chemicals has been heavily promoted by
medical groups and the local governments.

Many sunscreens also contain triethanolamine, a compound that can

cause the formation of cancer causing nitrosamines in products by
combining with nitrite used as preservative and often not disclosed on
sunscreen labels.

In March 1998, Dr. John Knowland of the University of Oxford reported

studies showing that certain sunscreens containing PABA and its
derivatives can damage DNA, at least in the test tube experiments.
When a chemical sunscreen, Padimate-O, was added to DNA and the
mixture exposed to the ultraviolet rays of sunlight, it was found that
the sunscreen broke down in sunlight, releasing highly active agents
that could damage DNA. It did not block out the UV, but instead
absorbed energy. “It became excited and set off a chemical reaction
that resulted in the generation of the dangerous free radicals and
broken DNA strands that can lead to cancer,” he said and further
commented that while it's too early to make blanket recommendations,
“I would not use a product containing PABA, Padimate-O or other PABA
derivatives.” Dr. Martin Rieger reported that PABA may play a role
in DNA-dimer formation, a type of DNA damage that can induce
carcinogenic changes.

Avobenzone (Parsol 1789) May Not Be Safe Either

In 1997, Europe, Canada, and Australia changed sunscreens to

use three specific active sunscreen ingredients - avobenzone (also
known as Parsol 1789), titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide - as the basis
of sunscreens. In the USA, the cosmetic companies have held off this
policy as they try to sell off their stockpiles of cosmetics containing
toxic sunscreens banned in other countries.

However, avobenzone is a powerful free radical generator and also

should have been banned. Avobenzone is easily absorbed through the
epidermis and is still a chemical that absorbs ultraviolet radiation
energy. Since it cannot destroy this energy, it has to convert the light
energy into chemical energy, which is normally released as free
radicals. While it blocks long-wave UVA, it does not effectively UVB or
short-wave UVA radiation, and is usually combined with other
sunscreen chemicals to produce a "broad-spectrum" product. In
sunlight, avobenzone degrades and becomes ineffective within about 1

Do Chemical Sunscreens Increase Cancer?

Worldwide, the greatest rise in melanoma has been experienced in

countries where chemical sunscreens have been heavily promoted The
rise in melanoma has been exceptionally high in Queensland,
Australia where the medical establishment has vigorously promoted
the use of sunscreens. Queensland now has more incidences of
melanoma per capita than any other place on Earth. (Garland, Cedric
F., et al. Could sunscreens increase melanoma risk? American Journal
of Public Health, Vol. 82, No. 4, April 1992, pp. 614-15).

Dr. Gordon Ainsleigh in California believes that the use of sunscreens

causes more cancer deaths than it prevents. He estimates that the
17% increase in breast cancer observed between 1981 and 1992 may
be the result of the pervasive use of sunscreens over the past decade
(Ainsleigh, H. Gordon. Beneficial effects of sun exposure on cancer
mortality. Preventive Medicine, Vol. 22, February 1993, pp. 132-40).
Recent studies have also shown a higher rate of melanoma among
men who regularly use sunscreens and a higher rate of basal cell
carcinoma among women using sunscreens (Garland, Cedric F. et al.
Effect of sunscreens on UV radiation-induced enhancement of
melanoma growth in mice. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol.
86, No. 10, May 18, 1994, pp. 798-801 :Larsen, H.R. "Sunscreens: do
they cause skin cancer." International Journal of Alternative &
Complementary Medicine, 1994; 12(12): 17-19; Farmer K.C. & Naylor,
M.F. "Sun exposure, sunscreens, and skin cancer prevention: a year-
round concern." Ann Pharmacother, 1996; 30(6):662-73)

Drs. Cedric and Frank Garland of the University of California have

pointed out that while sunscreens do protect against sunburn, there is
no scientific proof that they protect against melanoma or basal cell
carcinoma in humans (Garland, C.F., et al. "Could sunscreens increase
melanoma risk?" American Journal of Public Health, 1992; 82(4): 614-
615.) The Garlands believe that the increased use of chemical
sunscreens is the primary cause of the skin cancer epidemic. There is,
however, some evidence that regular use of sunscreens helps prevent
the formation of actinic keratoses, the precursors of squamous cell
carcinoma (Dover, Jeffrey S. & Arndt, Kenneth A. Dermatology.
Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 271, No. 21, June 1,
1994, pp. 1662-63).

In February 1998, epidemiologist Marianne Berwick of Memorial Sloan-

Kettering Cancer Center in New York presented a careful analysis of
data on sunscreen use and skin cancer at the annual meeting of the
American Association for the Advancement of Science. Sunscreens
may not protect against skin cancer, including melanoma, she
concluded. "We don't really know whether sunscreens prevent skin
cancer," said Berwick. She looked first at four studies of squamous cell
cancer, a cancer that appears on the head, neck, and arms but is
usually not lethal. Two of the studies concluded that sunscreen
protected against a skin condition thought to precede squamous cell
cancer while two other studies reported that sunscreen did not shield
people from this type of skin cancer. She then analyzed two studies of
basal cell carcinoma, another nonlethal skin cancer that is the most
common form of skin cancer and appears most frequently on the head,
neck, and arms. Those two studies found that people who used
sunscreen were more likely to develop basal cell cancer than people
who did not. She then analyzed 10 studies of melanoma, the skin
cancer is the most deadly. Melanoma often starts in or near moles on
the skin. In five of the melanoma studies, people who used sunscreen
were more likely than nonusers to develop melanoma. In three of the
studies, there was no association between sunscreen use and
melanoma. In the final two studies, people who used sunscreen
seemed to be protected. (Source: Science News, Vol. 153, No. 23,
June 6, 1998, p. 360).

"After examining the available epidemiological data and conducting our

own large case-control population-based study, we have found no
relationship between sunscreen use at any age and the development
of melanoma skin cancer," said Dr. Berwick. Although sunscreens do
prevent sunburn, Dr. Berwick concluded that sunburn itself is not the
direct cause of cancer. Dr. Berwick objected to the universal blanket
advice about using sunscreens during all time spent outdoors.

Dr. Berwick previously conducted a 1996 study that found no link

between sunscreen use at any age and the development of melanoma.
The same study also found no relationship between a history of
sunburn and the development of melanoma. Berwick continued saying
that the relationship between sunscreen use and the development of
skin cancer is complicated by evidence that people who are sensitive
to the sun engage in fewer activities in the bright sun and wear
sunscreen when they do. But if these people develop melanoma, it
may be because they are genetically susceptible and likely to develop
skin cancer regardless of the amount of sunlight exposure or
protection from sunscreen.

"Based on the evidence, we conclude that sunburn itself probably does

not cause melanoma, but that it is an important sign of excessive sun
exposure particularly among those who are genetically susceptible
because of their skin-type," said Dr. Berwick. The melanoma risk for
people with numerous moles was six times higher than that of
someone with only a few moles. Persons most at risk for melanoma
are those with red or blond hair and lighter colored eyes. Such light-
skinned people have almost six times more melanoma than persons
with darker skin. "The evidence indicates that chronic sun exposure
may be protective for the development of melanoma because the skin
has adapted to the sun, having become thicker as it has tanned. On
the other hand, intermittent sun exposure appears to increase risk,
making it much less protective," added Dr. Berwick. "People need to
focus on their individual risk characteristics, such as their pigmentary
phenotype, their family history, and the type and number of moles
they have. I recommend that people avoid the sun when they are
clearly at high risk and that they should enjoy a reasonable amount of
outdoor activities with less anxiety when they are clearly at reduced
risk," advised Dr. Berwick.

After Dr. Berwick's presentation of this data, the American Academy of

Dermatology (ADA) issued a press release attacking her work. The
then president of the ADA insulted her as a "number crunching
scientist". But then, all scientists spend a lot of time crunching

Studies have found that the incidence of skin cancers has increased
even as sunscreens have become popular among fair-skinned people.
The establishment answer to this increase in the cancer rate is that
wearing sunscreen makes people stay in the sun too long. A study by
Drs. Mike Brown (Kate Law of the Cancer Research Campaign) Philippe
Autier (European Institute of Oncology in Milan) reported that children
using sunscreen returned from holiday with more skin moles - a
possible sign of increased cancer risk. Some say that people who wore
higher factor sunscreens tend to stay out in sunlight much longer,
because they fell protected. However, others have pointed out that if
sunscreen chemicals were protective, the factors of longer sun
exposure would be somewhat countered by the sunscreen's supposed
protective actions.
Skin Cancer Increase Not Due to Ozone Depletion

But what about ozone depletion and skin cancer? Could this be the
cause of the increased skin cancer rates? Professor Johan Moan of the
Norwegian Cancer Institute found that the yearly incidence of
melanoma in Norway had increased by 350% for men and by 440%
for women during the period 1957 to 1984. He also determined that
there had been no change in the ozone layer over this period of time.
He concludes his report in the British Journal of Cancer by stating
"Ozone depletion is not the cause of the increase in skin cancers"
(Moan, J. & Dahlback, A. The relationship between skin cancers, solar
radiation and ozone depletion. British Journal of Cancer, Vol. 65, No. 6,
June 1992, pp. 916-21).

Psoriasis Treatment Increases Skin Cancer 83-fold

Researchers at the Harvard Medical School discovered that psoralen,

another ultraviolet light-activated, free radical generator that is
chemically similar to sunscreens, is an extremely efficient carcinogen.
They found that the rate of squamous cell carcinoma among patients
with psoriasis, who had been repeatedly treated with UVA light after a
topical application of psoralen, was 83 times higher than among the
general population (Stern, Robert S. and Laid, Nan. The carcinogenic
risk of treatments for severe psoriasis. Cancer, Vol. 73, No. 11, June 1,
1994, pp. 2759-64).

"Estrogenic sunscreen chemicals might explain most

of the social changes in California over the past 30 years."
A California customer
Toxic Estrogenic Chemical Sunscreens

Even worse for your health is the fact that many common free radical
generating sunscreen chemicals also have estrogen like-effects. Such
effects can increase cancers, cause birth defects in children, lower
sperm counts and penis size in men, plus a plethora of other medical
problems. These effects are similar to many banned chemicals such as
DDT, Dioxin, PCBs.
Estrogenic chemicals can mimic hormonal (or real) estrogen, the key
female sex hormone. When the body's hormone receptors recognize
the estrogenic chemical as estrogen, the result is feminization of the

Some of these effects may be more subtle than physical abnormalities

and may manifest themselves as behavioral changes (Fox et al. 1978),
such as aberrant behavior of birds during nesting, which can have
significant effects on their nesting success.

Government regulations require that new chemicals pass screening

tests to determine that they do not cause cancer. But no rules yet
require similar testing of chemicals for effects on reproductive

Common Estrogenic Toxins

Estrogenic Toxins Intended Uses
DDT (Dichloro, diphenyl, Insecticide, especially for
trichloroethane) mosquitoes

Chemical by-product during

Dioxin (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-
manufacturing of insecticides and
p-dioxin and similar chemicals)

Insulating oil for electrical

PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls)

2,4-D Broadleaf weed killer

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) A potent synthetic estrogen

Blocking ultraviolet rays on

Chemical Sunscreens
human skin

Expected Effects of Estrogenic Chemicals in Humans

Severe PMS
Erratic Periods
Increased Breast and Uterine Cancer
Fibrocystic breast disease
Uterine cysts
In Men Lowered Sperm Counts
Sexual Identity Confusion - Feminization
Breast Enlargement
Smaller then normal penis size
More testicular cancer
Undescended testicles
Block or reduce fetal imprinting of male behavior pattern in

Discovery of Gender-Bending Estrogenic Chemicals in the


In the 1950s, the effect of estrogenic toxins such as DDT was linked to
eggshell thinning in many bird species. Chemicals with estrogen-like
actions can also cause severe developmental problems such as turning
fish into hermaphrodites. Over the past 50 years, studies on
estrogenic toxins have greatly expanded our knowledge of these effect
- some of which is detailed below.

Many hormone affecting chemicals remain in widespread use. 2,4-D,

and similar products, are largest-selling broadleaf herbicides in North
America and some 60 million pounds of such chemicals are applied
annually in the USA alone. Three widely used pesticides are estrogenic:
dieldrin, toxaphene, and endosulfan. While dieldrin and toxaphene
have been banned, endosulfan remains the USA's most heavily used

Not all environmental gender-benders are estrogenic. Benomyl, a

fungicide used on crops such as rice, tomatoes, apples, and grapes,
has toxic actions on the testes where it causes the premature release
of cells that would have become sperm.
Also, the greatest increases in human cancers over the last 30 years
have been those of the breast, ovaries, testes, and prostate, all tissues
that are sensitive to sex hormones.

Many Common Sunscreen Chemicals are Strong Estrogens

Margaret Schlumpf and her colleagues (Institute of Pharmacology and

Toxicology, University of Zurich, Switzerland) have found that many
widely-used sunscreen chemicals mimic the effects of estrogen and
trigger developmental abnormalities in rats. (Schlumpf , Margaret;
Beata Cotton, Marianne Conscience, Vreni Haller, Beate Steinmann,
Walter Lichtensteiger. In vitro and in vivo estrogenicity of UV screens.
Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 109 (March 2001) pp 239-244)

Her group tested six common chemicals that are used in sunscreens,
lipsticks and facial cosmetics. Five of the six tested chemicals
(benzophenone-3, homosalate, 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-
MBC), octyl-methoxycinnamate and octyl-dimethyl-PABA) behaved like
strong estrogen in lab tests and caused cancer cells to grow more

Uterine growth and endometriosis

One very common sunscreen chemical, 4-MBC, was mixed with olive
oil and applied to rat skin. This caused a doubling of the rate of uterine
growth well before puberty. "That was scary, because we used
concentrations that are in the range allowed in sunscreens," said
Schlumpf. Three of the six caused developmental abnormalities in
animals. The major cause of sterility in women in the USA is
endometriosis, a condition afflicting 5.5% of American women.
Exposure to excessive estrogen, that may have come from such
sunscreens, is felt to be the primary cause of endometriosis.

Breast milk

Schlumpf's group also found estrogenic sunscreens in the breast milk

of mothers at levels of nanograms per kilogram of fat. This is the
about same level as other known environmental contaminants such as
PCBs. Schlumpf commented that this exposure could be dramatically
increased in childhood by the large amount of sunscreen used by
bathers, especially children. Her group is following the offspring of 4-
MBC exposed rats to see if they develop health problems.
Based on these results, the Swiss researchers concluded that the
impact of sunscreens containing these "endocrine disruptors" should
be investigated more closely, in particular their penetration through
human skin.

Estrogenic Synergies May Multiply Toxic Effects

Combinations of estrogenic sunscreens and other pollutants may act

together to intensify their effects. Researchers at Tulane University in
New Orleans believe that a mixture of estrogenic toxins -- such as
sunscreens, PCBs, DDT, etc., are more harmful if mixed together. The
Tulane researchers found one mixture of estrogenic toxins to be 160 to
1600 times more toxic than the individual chemicals in the mixture.

Gender-Bending Effects are Most Severe During Early


Current evidence points to early development (embryo, fetus, juvenile)

as the time when children's organs are the most sensitive to estrogen
exposure and developmental abnormalities. However, some effects
may not become apparent until later in life, when normal sexual
maturity is expected.

The basic human form is female. Early in fetal development, the genes
must signal if a fetus is to be male. The secretion of male hormones is
the signal that activates genes that cause male development. If this
does not happen, the human has female imprinting - regardless of
whether the person's cells have male (XY) or female genes (XX). If a
mother has been exposed to a natural estrogen or estrogenic toxin
during the crucial period when genes normally activate masculine
patterns, the seventh and 14th weeks of pregnancy, then there is not
the proper switching from female to male. If the estrogenic
toxins only appear sporadically (such as when the mother uses an
estrogenic sunscreen, the disruptions may not trigger a complete
reversal of a male's gender,
but may exert subtle physical (such a reduced penis size) and mental
changes (such as sex role confusion) that become apparent later in life.
Conversely, if a synthetic compound blocks estrogen actions, this can
produce the sex organs of a male in a fetus that is genetically female.

After using chemical sunscreens, a pregnant woman mother may

unwittingly pass some hormone-mimicking pollutants to her child
before birth through her placental blood supply and via her breast milk
with which she later feeds her newborn.

Some currently used pesticides have been found to interfere with male
development, producing undescended testes, nipples on males,
hypospadias, decreased sperm counts, and altered mating behavior.
When a widely used insecticide, methoxychlor, was fed at low doses to
pregnant mice, it caused permanent increases in prostate weight in
male offspring of females.

Endocrine disruptors can affect male/female sex ratio in Daphnia (a

water flea).

Feminized Male Alligators

Male alligators exposed to pesticides in Florida have difficulty

reproducing, partly because their penises are not developing to normal
size. Effects attributed to estrogenic environmental toxins have
produced male American alligators with underdeveloped sex organs
and vitellogenin (an egg and yolk protein normally found only in
females) in male animals.

Also, alligator eggs exposed to DDT or another pesticide, dicofol, hatch

male alligators that grow penises only one-third to one-half normal
size, and fail to breed.

In addition, males of of many other wildlife species in the same areas

of Florida (birds, fish, amphibians, and mammals) are being
"feminized" by exposure to low levels of pesticides and other toxic
chemicals released into the environment.

Florida Panthers

The Florida panther, an endangered species, is failing to reproduce

itself. There are only 30 to 50 panthers remaining, and the reason for
the decline has postulated to an effect of environmental estrogens.
Between 1985 and 1990, 67 percent of male panthers were born with
one or more undescended testicles (cryptorchidism). Some Florida
panthers are sterile and many others produce abnormal or deformed

Loss of Libido in Men

Estrogenic chemicals block testosterone actions. This can reduce
sexual arousal and sensation and contribute the a loss of libido.

Testicular Cancer

Many industrialized countries have witnessed recently a sharp rise in

testicular cancer, according to Dr. Skakkebaek, (Department of
Growth and Reproduction at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark).
Some of the first data reporting this increase emerged in Denmark,
which has maintained a national cancer registry since 1947.

In Denmark, the incidence of testicular cancer has more than tripled

over the past 50 years and the rate of increase continues to grow.
Similar increases have also been reported in Scotland, the United
States, and other Scandinavian countries.

Human Sperm Counts Decline

The sperm count in men in industrialized countries has dropped 50%

during the past 50 years, and the exposure to endocrine-disrupting
compounds is the most likely cause. Skakoebaek and his group
conducted an analysis of previously published studies on semen quality.
The international data, from studies involving 14,947 men, indicate
that the average density of sperm has fallen from 113 million per
milliliter of semen in 1940 to just 66 million per ml in 1990.

Skakkebaek's group also noted that because the volume of semen

available in these men at any given time has also dropped an average
of 19 percent, the 50-year drop in sperm count has been larger than
sperm density alone would indicate.

Undescended Testicles (cryptorchidism)

Though formed near the kidneys, both testicles should migrate down
into the scrotum by birth. Undescended testicles usually complete their
migration within a year or two after birth, but some never do. Men
with undescended testicles are unable to make sperm.

Only a few countries maintain registries on this condition, but

Skakkebaek found that two British studies documented a near
doubling of the number of boys born with at least one undescended
testicle from about 1.6 percent in the 1950s to 2.9 percent in the late
Other studies have reported that in England and the USA,
cryptorchidism has more than doubled in men during the last four
decades. (A. Giwercman and N.E. Skakkebaek, "The human testis--an
(1992), pgs. 373-375: Elisabeth Carlsen and others, "Evidence for
decreasing quality of semen during past 50 years," BRITISH MEDICAL
JOURNAL Vol. 305 (1992), pgs. 609-613)

In young boys living in an area of heavy agricultural activity on the

Spanish Mediterranean coast, there was found an association between
pesticide exposure and undescended testicles.

Hypospadias in Men

Hypospadias are congenital abnormalities of the urinary tract. During

fetal development, the penis possesses an open groove down its
length that normally closes before birth. Boys born with only partial
closure of the groove need surgery to correct the problem.

Birth registries in England and Wales record that hypospadias more

than doubled between 1964 and 1983. Further studies found link
between undescended testicles at birth and testicular cancer in
adulthood. Low sperm counts or abnormal sperm also are associated
with testicular cancer.

All these changes may be the consequence of fetal exposure.

Testicular cancer, undescended testicles, hypospadias, and poor-
quality semen have been found in the male offspring of women who,
during pregnancy, were treated with diethylstilbestrol (DES), a potent
synthetic estrogen. Research at the National Institute of Environmental
Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, N.C. found many
environmental contaminants can mimic the reproductive effects of
estrogen and DES in male animals.

Estrogenic PCBs and Insecticides Diminish Penis Size in

Humans and Animals

Boys in Taiwan exposed to PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) while in

their mothers' womb developed smaller than normal penises as they
(Marguerite Holloway, "Dioxin Indictment," SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN Vol.
270 (January 1994), pg. 25.; Gina Kolata, "PCB Exposure Linked to
Birth Defects in
Taiwan," NEW YORK TIMES August 2, 1988, pg. C3)
The boys in Taiwan are called the "yucheng" (or "oil disease")
children. A similar PCB contamination ("yusho") occurred in Japan in
1968. When 115 yucheng children were examined, they were found to
be delayed when compared to controls. The delayed development
effects in the children's behavior that were most noticeable were the
age when they first (1) talked with sentences, (2) turned pages of
books, (3) carried out requests of parents, and (4) were able to hold
pencils and catch balls.

The boy's mothers had eaten PCB-contaminated rice oil in 1979. The
children consumed none of the oil but they were exposed before birth
to PCBs in their mother's blood and after birth to PCBs in their
mother's milk. The rice oil contained 100 parts per million (ppm) PCBs.
A new mother in the USA has an average of one ppm PCBs in her
breast milk.

Researchers at University of Wisconsin found low exposures before

birth to dioxin, another toxic estrogen, feminized the behavior of male
rats during adulthood, and sharply reduced their sperm
production. The researchers concluded that the fetal male
reproductive system was more sensitive to dioxin than any other
organ-system studied." (Janet Raloff, "The Gender Benders," SCIENCE
NEWS Vol. 145 (January 8, 1994), pgs. 24-27; Perinatal dioxin
feminizes male rats," SCIENCE NEWS Vol. 141 (May 30, 1992), pg.
359; "EcoCancers," SCIENCE NEWS Vol. 144 (July 3, 1993), pgs. 10-

Santa Barbara's Lesbian Seagulls

Dr. Michael Fry at University of California, Davis, reported that

Western gulls on Santa Barbara Island are often in recent years
becoming lesbian gulls, with female pairs building nests and trying to
hatch eggs and raise offspring. Fry attributes this as partly due to
male seagulls' increasing indifference to sex. Examinations found that
the male gulls often have feminized sex organs, attributed to the
males being "chemically castrated" by DDT and other estrogenic other
environmental pollutants.

Symptoms of excessive estrogen in women

In women, excessive estrogen and estrogen-like chemicals produce

intensified estrogen effects on the body.
Excessive estrogen:

1. Affects your fluid balance, so that swelling due to fluid retention

may become noticeable. It can causes elevations of blood pressure,
headaches, and migraines.

2. Has a stimulating effect on breast tissue but excess estrogen can

also increase fibrocystic breast disease and painful breast swelling.

3. Suppresses thyroid hormone production and this may cause fatigue

plus aches and pains in muscles and joints.

4. Stimulates the appetite, makes you crave sweets, leads to weight

gain from fat as well as fluid.

5. Intensifies PMS symptoms and produce a mental feeling of being

edgy and nervous. Insomnia is also a common side effect.

6. Increases your chances of developing emdometriosis, breast cancer,

and uterine cancer.

(An updated review of environmental estrogen and androgen mimics

and antagonists. Sonnenschein C, Soto AM. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol
1998 Apr;65(1-6)143-50)

Orcas of Pacific
Dying from

Every summer, I
spend many
happy weekends
fishing for salmon
off the coast of
American Camp National Park on San Juan Island in Washington State.
Normally, when we are fishing, we get a visit from the San Juan Orca
Pod. Usually Orca just check out the area around the boat for salmon
but at times they stop for hours and fish around the boat. The smaller
Orca spend a lot of time with their heads out of the water or "spying"
to see what happens above water. In the picture, my wife is watching
two Orca immediately to the right of her head (but not easy to see in
this photo) who were fishing around our boat. The Orca are friendly
and very inquisitive.

However, the resident Orca pod of Washington

State and British Columbia is severely
contaminated with organic pollutants like PCBs.
The pod has suffered a drastic reduction in
numbers in the past 10 years. Scientists have
used a light-weight dart system to obtain small
samples of skin and blubber from Orcas and these were analyzed for
PCBs and other contaminants.

The samples obtained from individually recognizable Orcas that have

been the subjects of studies and photo identification since 1973 and
were analyzed in relation to sex, age and subpopulation. The Orcas in
this region are separated into two groups: the resident Orca that feed
primarily upon salmon, and "transient" Orca that feed mainly on other
marine mammals. Samples were obtained from 47 individuals: 15
samples from transients and 32 from residents (subdivided into
individuals from a northern and a southern pod).
Average Concentrations of PCBs
Males - PCB Females - PCB
concentration concentration
Transient 251 mg/kg 59 mg/kg

Northern residents (Mainly

37 mg/kg 9 mg/kg
British Columbia)

Southern residents (Mainly

146 mg/kg 55 mg/kg
Washington State)

The concentrations of PCBs in all groups were high, especially in

transient males. The sexual differences in contaminants are similar to
other whales. Females transfer accumulated PCBs to their offspring,
first in the womb and then via lactation. Males have no no way to
remove the contaminants.
The greater PCB concentrations observed in 'transients' is a result of
dietary differences. By eating other marine mammals, the 'transients'
are one level higher in the food chain. They eat predators of salmon
who have already accumulated PCBs, in contrast residents eat salmon

(Ross, PS, GM Ellis, MG Ikonomou, LG Barrett-Lennard and RF Addison.

2000. High PCB concentrations in free-ranging Pacific Killer Whales,
Orcinus orca: Effects of age, sex and dietary preference. Marine
Pollution Bulletin 40:504-515)

The Failure of Academic

Dermatologists to Protect the Public

Why did this situation with sunscreens arise?

Why was it only research scientists who
repeatedly raised concerns about sunscreen
safety? Why was the academic dermatology
community silent?

Most of the academic community has a long

tradition of informing the public about real
and potential dangers to the wider social
community. When I lived in Santa Barbara,
Linus Pauling held a weekly protest in front
of the Santa Barbara Library against the
testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere. He continued his
protests in spite of intense pressure from the US Government and
covert campaigns of slander against him. In 1952, the State
Department refused to renew Pauling's passport. The official reason
was that his travels "would not be in the best interest of the United
States". Pauling was unable to attend a meeting of the Royal Society
in London which was called to honor him and to discuss his ideas
about potential structures of DNA. Many felt that he missed the chance
to be the first to unravel the structure of DNA because he wasn't able
to confer with colleagues. Although issued a short term passport in the
summer of 1952, Pauling's requests for passport renewals were
routinely denied during the next two years.
Pauling eventually won the 1962 Nobel Peace Prize for his campaign
and nuclear weapons testing in the atmosphere was terminated. But
even today, in year 2002, a study by the Center for Disease Control
estimated that the radioactive fallout from the atmospheric nuclear
weapons tests caused about 11,000 deaths from cancer in the USA
and produced a minimum of 22,000 new cancers. Some non-
governmental groups are of the opinion that the deaths were far
higher and still are responsible for 15,000 deaths yearly in the USA.

Many other academics have, in recent years, led protests against

actions and policies that were damaging to the wider community.
These include campaigns to remove chemical toxins from foods,
clothes, building materials and the wider environment. Other concerns
over global warming, species extinction, and global poverty have been
sharply delineated by members of the academic community.

This raises the questions as to why no member of the academic

dermatology community, over the past 30 years, raised warnings
about the dangers of chemical sunscreens. The answer is that the
cosmetic industry has effectively silenced leading academic
dermatologists by a widespread pattern of payments in the form of
consulting fees, grants, retainers, vacation arrangements, and so on.
In essence, industry has bought their silence on issues and products
that might be embarrassing. Most academic dermatologists focus their
attention on innocuous, safe, non-controversial topics that will not
offend their corporate sponsors. Like Dr. Faust, they must honor their
agreements with their benefactors.

Effects of

In countries
have been
used over
the past 50 years, there have also been profound changes in sexual
attitudes and conduct. Many scientists are of the opinion that some of
these changes have been induced by the widespread exposure to
estrogenic chemicals. These effects include sexual confusion,
unhappiness, and a difficulty in bonding with others. This is
exemplified by falling or negative birth rates in most culturally
advanced societies.

The texts from classical Greece and Rome indicate that while the
ancients may have been guilty of sexual excesses, trying just about
anything that humans could think of, but they seemed to have never
suffered the types of sexual insecurity and sexual gender confusion
that typifies our current society. Today we think in terms of various
types of rigid sexual life styles but the ancients viewed all variants of
sexual attraction as aspects of one common theme. It may be that
environmental estrogenic toxins (in sunscreens and the wider
environment) are altering normal brain development during fetal
development and this alters subsequent thought patterns and desires
and produces the subsequent confusion.

If you have questions about this assertion,

you might read the The Satyricon of
Petronius by Gaius Petronius (~27-66 A.D.)
who was the emperor Nero's advisor in
matters of luxury and extravagance (his
unofficial title was arbiter elegantiae). He is
recorded to have slept his days and partied
nights. A lover of style, manners, and
literature, and his personality was
characterized by freedom, a lack of self-consciousness, a loose tongue,
and was capable of writing the most literate and creative prose in Latin.
He focused on satire that could be written about some social arenas
written today. An example (non-sexual) is as follows, " We reached
the dining room. Boys from Egypt poured cooled water on our hands
while others ministered to our feet, removing the hangnails with
precision. I began chatting with my neighbor. Who was that woman
running here and there? "The host's wife," he replied. "She counts her
money by the bushel. But take care you don't scorn the other
freedmen here. They're oozing wealth too. See that one reclining at
the end of the couch? Today he's worth 800,000. He's newly freed. Not
too long ago, he carried wood on his back."

An alternative is to watch Frederico Fellini's film " Satyricon" released

in 1969. The film is toned down from the book but you will get the
general idea.