Monday, November 16, 2009

Manly men don't use plastic

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Before you strap on that PVC outfit on a Saturday night - you should know:

Some plastics reduce penis size.

Yes, plastics containing chemicals called phthalates have been shown to cause genital defects in animals and even undescended testicles in boys. The problem: phthalates that can mimic the female sex hormone, estrogen, meaning that if pregnant women are exposed to these chemicals it could lead to their sons being less endowed.

If small penis sizes isn't enough, exposure to certain plastics during pregnancy may cause boys to be more 'feminized' where they are less likely to engage in rougher play, or play with cars, trains and guns.

The culprit: Phthlates called DEHP and DBP are both relatively commonly used chemicals to plastinate products. In particular, DEHP is used in PVC, hydraulic fluid and dialysis tubing while DBP is used in some nail polish and some glues and dyes.

For the most part, regulating bodies are doing their part to eliminate the use of these chemicals. Both the European Union and United States have completely banned the use of DBP in nail polishes. DEHP is banned in the EU for use in toys and the US has banned it for use in many forms of packaging.

In general, most people aren't exposed to lots of these types of chemicals - so no need to stop using plastic. But, if you are pregnant are planning on becoming pregnant - it wouldn't hurt to look into some of your more commonly used plastic products. Because, although penis size 'doesn't matter'.... it does.

-- Torah Kachur

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