I started running across references to pesticides in my menopause research. Every time I get a little bit blue, I do some reading about menopause and...it doesn't exactly cheer me up, but it helps me cope. Anyway, pesticides are unexpectedly popping up in the literature about menopause. I sort of expected that pesticides cause tumors, etc. but it's sort of weird to think that they can be responsible for elevated levels of estrogen in the environment.
I ran across this passage in a discussion of a host of potential health problems for women (including infertility, endometriosis, amenorrhea (skipped periods), hypermenorrhea (heavy bleeding), fibroids, uterine cancer, heart disease and stroke, and decreased cognitive ability) resulting from unnaturally elevated estrogen levels:
"Pesticides are perhaps the biggest source of xenoestrogens. Most bioaccumulate, meaning they are stored in fat cells of fish, poultry and other food sources in increasing concentration until they reach the top of the food chain — where you and I consume them! They are highly estrogenic, and some experts estimate that the average American ingests over a pound of pesticides a year." (emphasis added)
Source:website of Women to Women clinic in Yarmouth, Maine
There are also reports circulating (which I have yet to verify from multiple sources) that estrogen waste in our waterways are causing some male fish to change gender. I know there's more information out there, but let's start with this article from a British newspaper.