Hormone-Mimicking Chemicals May Threaten Male Fertility, Study Warns
Bisphenol A and other common estrogen-mimicking chemicals may be wreaking havoc on sperm and stymying some couples’ hopes of having children, warns new research.
“We’re seeing more and more guys who have low and troubling sperm counts,” said Pat Hunt, a molecular biologist at Washington State University and co-author of a small study published Thursday that investigates how certain industrial chemicals may affect sexual development in newborn male mice.
“There’s a hypothesis now that this might be due to these estrogenic exposures to the male testes — because it’s not just sperm counts that seem to be changing,” she added, noting the similarly rising rates of testicular cancer, undescended testes and other abnormalities in male genitalia throughout the developed world.
Hunt’s research isn’t the first to place infertility alongside attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, female reproductive problems, obesity and heart disease on the list of potential consequences of exposure to endocrine disruptors — a class of chemicals that get their name because they alter proper hormone functioning. Federal researchers published a study last year showing that phthalates, a family of compounds used in plastics, piping and cosmetics, can interfere with the hormone testosterone, likely playing a role in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24534276" —> Read More Here