Thursday, March 4, 2010

WHAT'S HAPPENING TO OUR MALE CHARACTERS?

Are you having trouble finding any manly males to base your heroes on? Maybe you haven’t noticed, but men just aren’t as masculine as they used to be. (Of course, they can't all be Mark Ruffalo.) The cause could be from a little old chemical called atrazine.

Atrazine is a herbicide that selectively controls broadleaf weeds and has been used for many years by farmers on produce. This chemical gets sprayed on plants and then it contaminates our ground water.

Atrazine is an endocrine disruptor – a chemical that alters the functioning of hormones. In studies, it has shown to change testosterone to estrogen in the bodies of male frogs, changing the males to females and emasculating about three-quarters of the rest. How scary is that?

Since we have a lot in common with frogs (we’re both vertebrates), this could affect us humans as well. Atrazine has also been proven to damage the immune systems of fish, reptiles and birds.

I don’t know about you, but maybe we should be worried about us and not just the heroes in our books.

Some of the suggestions for dealing with this issue are:

o Don't drink straight tap water or ground water. Always drink carbon-filtered water.

o Wash all produce thoroughly by placing it in a bowl with a drop of dishwashing liquid and lukewarm water. Keep it submerged for fifteen to twenty minutes and then rinse it aggressively.

Good luck all you male characters out there.

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