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Sex ratio at birth and exposure to petrochemicals
  1. W H James1
  1. 1Dept of Genetics and Biometry, University College London, Wolfson House, 4 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HE, UK

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    Saadat and colleagues1 reported a significantly high sex ratio (proportion male) in births to people exposed to oil and natural gas from an Iranian oilfield. These authors cited a study of Yang and colleagues2 of sex ratios near a petroleum refinery plant in Taiwan. In that study Yang et al failed to find any disturbance in the sex ratios of two polluted municipalities as contrasted with Taiwanese national data. However Saadat et al failed to mention another, more powerful, study by the same group of authors. Yang and colleagues3 contrasted the sex ratios at birth in 16 municipalities in which there was substantial involvement in the petrochemical industry with sex ratios in the other 345 municipalities in Taiwan. Overall, the offspring sex ratios of the polluted municipalities were highly significantly higher …

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