The members of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation living in Canada’s Chemical Valley, located in Sarnia Ontario, are facing a health crisis due to the pollutants in their environment, such as hormone disruptors and heavy metals. Some of the major health issues faced by the people are cancer, learning disabilities and several reproductive problems. They experience an extremely high rate of miscarriages and the world’s lowest male birth rate, which is approximately two girls being born for every boy.
The fact that half as many boys were being born live as girls can be attributed to endocrine disruptors and other chemicals which mimic the effects of estrogen, the female hormone, in the body. It is suggested that these chemicals encourage embryos to develop into a female body but the exact mechanisms are unknown. These chemicals leak into the environment from the neighboring factories, where spills are a frequent feature.
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