Why, it’s a girl, how surprising!!
Twice as many girls as boys are being born in some Arctic villages because of high levels of man-made chemicals in the blood of pregnant women, according to scientists from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (Amap).
The scientists, who say the findings could explain the recent excess of girl babies across much of the northern hemisphere, are widening their investigation across the most acutely affected communities in Russia, Greenland and Canada to try to discover the size of the imbalance in Inuit communities of the far north.
In the communities of Greenland and eastern Russia monitored so far, the ratio was found to be two girls to one boy. In one village in Greenland only girls have been born.
Why are the upper latitudes especially vulnerable? Two reasons, firstly, atmospheric currents carry pollutants from the Mid-Latitudes (i.e the US, China and Europe) to the higher latitudes of the Arctic. Secondly, the pollutants they measured, PCBs, are persistent and stable (which is why they were used in the first place) and accumulate in the fat tissue of animals. So, predator fish on top of the food chain (the large oily ones) tend to accumulate a lot of these compounds. When you live in the Arctic, you tend to eat a lot of fish. So, these people are getting slammed.
I tell you, Children of Men is not as far fetched as it sounds! Though I think the high levels these people accumulated in their system may not be representative of the rest of the world (vegetarian diets, for instance would be lower in persistent pollutants unless you consumed a ton of milk products), it is still a very scary story.