Friday, May 25, 2012

Birth control chemicals affecting the environment


When it comes to the fruits of human evolution, one thing is certain: nearly everything we do has repercussions within our environment. Some are just a little more surprising than the others. And so it is in a paper written by Richard Owen and Susan Jobling, who argue that birth control chemicals might adversely affect the environment.
Owen and Jobling conducted laboratory tests with ethinyl estradiol, a type of estrogen found in birth control pills. In humans, it obviously controls pregnancy, but in other organisms — specifically those found near waste water run-off — it might have the potential to create deformities. Presently there is no proof that this is occurring outside of testing labs.
Pro-life groups will likely seize on Owen and Joblings’s lab-work to argue that birth control is now violating another aspect of God’s creation. Owen and Jobling on the other hand are arguing for the European union to create an open decision-making process  regarding costs for cleaning chemicals from wastewater. That is, they would like to see those scientists not invited by EU to be able provide input on the legislative committee’s recommendation.
Owen and Jobling’s study appears in the latest issue of the weekly science journal Nature.


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