Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Best River Walk Restaurant

Best River Walk Restaurant

Best of SA 2012: 4/25/2012
Free Things to Do: Kid-friendly

Free Things to Do: Kid-friendly

Free Guide: It’s almost summer, which means that your government-subsidized free daycare (aka public school) goes on hiatus thanks to an archaic allegiance to a rural agriculture economic system that hasn’t been in play for decades. What to do with the wee ones whining 5/21/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

Screens: See if you can spot the common thread that is pulling at the seams of the Texas film industry. On NBC’s The Night Shift, a stock-written staff... By Matt Stieb 8/27/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Lone Star Green

Placenta shampoos, BPA, and Monsanto's genetic empire

Photo: , License: N/A


We are experimental people. By that, I don't mean we like to tinker. Though tinker we certainly do. We're experimental people in the way that white-coated Wistar rats are experimental rats. After hundreds of thousands of years spreading about the planet, settling everywhere from Africa's deepest deserts to the Arctic's most frigid barrens, humans face a new and possibly impenetrable challenge. Suddenly, the terrarium we haunt has been thoroughly, and potentially irrevocably, chemically and genetically altered. Simply put: we live and die exposed to substances that didn't exist on the planet until very recently. It all hits women and children the hardest: babies across the U.S. are born with toxic chemicals in their bloodstreams and Inuit mothers, living as far away from industrial pollution as you can get, have been measured with toxic loads in their breast milk at truly hazardous proportions thanks to the transport of poisons through the marine food web.

While human populations have boomed with concurrent medical advances, there have been strings attached to the agricultural and chemical revolutions. Incidences of a wide range of cancers — particularly breast and prostate — continue to climb. Diabetes has soared. Sperm counts have fallen. And young girls are reaching sexual maturity years earlier.

While working at Brooke Army Medical Center in the 1990s, Dr. Chandra Tiwary started seeing a disturbing trend in San Antonio. Babies and young children between 10 months and seven years old developing pubic hair and breast buds. Strange sightings, indeed, in a city where young girls already reach puberty at earlier ages thanks to elevated obesity levels (weight being one of the measures that trigger hormonal change). Tiwary linked his findings to the use of shampoos and conditioners containing placenta. "These products contain hormones — and sometimes they do say so," Tiwary told the Current. "[Customers] hope their hair will grow healthier or longer, but really estrogen doesn't have this effect." Here was a case where education and avoidance solved matters: after the families he consulted stopped using those products their children's conditions returned to normal.

Less clear is how we are to avoid suddenly ubiquitous chemicals such as bisphenol A, or BPA. The estrogen mimic is a synthetic creation born of blended coal tar extract and acetone that is found in a large variety of goods, including water bottles, baby bottles, tinned food cans, and paper receipts. Although industry has rushed to remove it from drinking water bottles, debates still rage regarding its impact on human health. The inter-agency National Toxicology Program found "some concern" (ranked 3 on a 5-point scale from "negligible" and "serious") that current levels of exposures may be damaging the brains, behaviors, and prostate glands in fetuses, infants, and children. Ranking at "minimal" concern is the potential quickening of puberty among children.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus