Thursday, November 15, 2007

From last week's LEO:

Maybe that’s why they’re called ‘pacifier’
OK, class, today’s new vocabulary word is “phthalate.” Phthalate is not what the boss with the speech impediment asked her overworked employees to do. It is a chemical compound that conveniently turns hard plastic crap into soft plastic crap, so it can be shaped into a variety of handy items, such as shampoo bottles, car interiors, iPhones, sex toys, nail polish, fishing lures and children’s toys. Phthalates have been shown to reduce testosterone — the stuff that makes men (and some women) men — and to disrupt the sexual development of boys. Recent studies also link phthalates to endocrine-system problems and sexual dysfunction.

The fact that phthalates are used to make so many children’s toys is a growing concern, so much so that most industrial countries have banned them from teethers, pacifiers and rattles. But not America, where we can take our dangerous chemicals like men, even those that threaten to turn us into, well, not men. On the bright side, perhaps if phthalates turn us into a species of women, maybe we’ll finally quit starting so many pesky wars. To learn how to protect your family’s testosterone, visit The Environmental Working Group.

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