Sperm Counts Are On The Decline – Could Plastics Be To Blame?

The Guardian is reporting:

A recent study that tested both men and dogs added to concerns that chemicals in the environment are damaging the quality and quantity of sperm

The culprits implicated are diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), used to make new plastics more pliable, and polychlorinated biphenyl 153 (PCB153), found in older plastics and electrical equipment. Companies stopped producing PCBs in the late 1970s due to their health risks – including a possible increased risk of cancer, hormone disruption, liver damage and behavioral or cognitive deficits in children exposed to the chemical in utero – but the chemical persists in the environment.

Declining sperm counts are an “indicator that there is something very wrong in our modern environment or lifestyle”, says Dr Hagai Levine, head of the environmental health track at the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health in Israel. “We need to identify what the causes are and fix them. Otherwise it’s dangerous to our future and maybe irreversible.”


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