|Chemical exposures may have an effect on|
future generations, researchers show.
According to a recent study by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and Washington State University, animals whose ancestors were exposed to an environmental compound three generations earlier showed an increased reaction to stress.
In the study, female rats were exposed to a fungicide known to disrupt hormones. The researchers put the rats’ third generation of offspring through a variety of behavioral tests and found they were significantly more anxious and sensitive to stress than descendants of unexposed rats.
Third human generation since chemical revolution
The scientists chose the third generation specifically because we are now in the third human generation since the start of the chemical revolution, since humans have been exposed to these kinds of toxins.
This means that the chemical exposures of our great grandmothers could have programmed us in how we react to stress, the researchers say, which could explain why some people get post-traumatic stress syndrome while others do not.
In a previous study, the researchers already showed that ancestors’ environmental exposures altered how rats chose their mates.
The research could also provide answers about the rise in autism and bipolar disorder, the researchers say, and it might even provide some insight into the obesity epidemic.
Source: Washington State University
Keep chemical exposure to a minimum at home and at work
No matter where we are, we can be exposed to a toxic chemical soup coming from building materials, household products, equipment, personal care products, outdoor air pollution and more.
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