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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Stewing in our juices.

Last Friday, the Canadian Press ran an article on bizarre birth patterns on the Aamjiwaang First Nations reserve in southern Ontario. The 850-member reserve sits in Chemical Valley, an area in Sarnia which "is home to Canada's largest cluster of chemical, allied manufacturing and research and development facilities."

The article, entitled "Chemical Valley community with many girl births wants to know where the boys are," briefly summarizes the findings of Ada Lockbridge, a member of the band's environmental committee: she was tasked with going through local birth records after residents noticed in 2003 that the reserve had three all-girl softball teams and only one for boys. Lockbridge's findings were published in the American journal Environmental Health Perspectives and the entire article may be found here (will launch a new browser window).

In a nutshell, she discovered that 41% of babies born between 1994 and 2003 were male (the normal ratio is ~50%, of course), while "only about a third of babies born on the reserve between 1999 and 2003 were male" (quoted from the CP article).

As far as I know, the local chemical companies have yet to comment.


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