Picks and Pans Review: Assault on the Male

UPDATED 09/05/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/05/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT

The Discovery Channel (Sun., Sept. 4, 7 p.m. ET)

B+

Medical researchers have discovered that human sperm counts have been dropping dramatically for decades. More and more of the sperm that are produced are deformed. Pediatricians are noticing sharp increases in instances of non-descending testicles and urethral defects. Prostate and testicular cancers are increasing rapidly. Among aquatic wildlife species, mutations of the male reproductive systems are proliferating at an even faster rate. What in the world is going on here?

This documentary convincingly argues that the problem may be certain compounds used in pesticides, pharmaceuticals, plastics, construction materials and industrial chemicals—synthetic hormones that mimic the female hormone, estrogen. These substances have been leeching into our lakes, rivers and drinking water and, scientists suspect, playing havoc with male endocrine systems. This suspenseful scientific mystery may be the scariest film you'll see on TV this year.

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