While most of us are aware of the dangers posed by pollution, we may not be aware that our very existence is being threatened in a very different way by plastics in the environment. Could the future of the human race be hanging in the balance?
A recent study by researchers from the U.K.’s Nottingham University, published in the journal Nature, has made the alarming discovery that two chemicals commonly found in the home – diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and polychlorinated biphenyl 153 (PCB153) – damage the quality of sperm in male humans and dogs.
Perhaps this explains why both quantity and quality of men’s sperm has been on the decline in recent years. In fact, as reported by The Guardian, average sperm counts have decreased by 50 percent over the past five decades. Even worse, the sperm that is being produced is of a low quality and is often genetically flawed.
We all know that no matter how much some people would like to insist that gender is something you can choose, and is nothing more than a social construct, the cold hard fact is that without sperm from males and eggs from females there can be no children. Are we, therefore, on the point of being wiped out as a species?
Sperm under attack
As explained by The Guardian, PCB chemicals, including PCB153, have not been used since the 1970s because of the serious risks they posed:
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.
While an increase in poor lifestyle choices like smoking, drinking and being overweight have certainly contributed to the decline in sperm quantity and quality, experts are convinced that environmental toxins are also to blame.
The Nottingham University research team set out to test that theory.
The Guardian reported:
[T]he Nottingham researchers first removed contaminants from semen samples of men and dogs then exposed the manmade chemicals. Results showed that exposure to chemicals at levels found in the environment reduced sperm motility (ability to swim) and fragmented DNA carried in the head of the sperm.
The researchers warn that the sample size of the study is small, and that results need to be investigated on a larger scale. Nonetheless, if plastic toxins are affecting male fertility, then the sheer volume of plastic in the environment poses a serious threat to our continued existence.
Dr. Hagain Levine of the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health in Israel, warns that declining sperm rates are a warning sign that something is “very wrong in our modern environment or lifestyle.” He adds, “We need to identify what the causes are and fix them. Otherwise it’s dangerous to our future and maybe irreversible.”
Unfortunately, environmental plastics and poor lifestyle choices are not the only things that can negatively impact male fertility. As reported by the EMF Academy, EMF radiation – which we are constantly exposed to – also causes serious damage:
In 2014, a research article published in the Central European Journal of Urology showed how just simply having a cell phone near sperm decreases the mobility and effectiveness of that sperm. The study used 32 men with healthy sperm. They took a specimen from each man and split it into two samples. Both samples were placed in a thermostat, with one sample being next to a mobile phone in standby/talk mode.
As you’d probably guess, the sample next to the phone was negatively affected. This sample saw a decline in sperm motility and direction, as well as dramatically higher DNA fragmentation.
Clearly, human fertility is under attack from multiple different sources. It is therefore incredibly important to mitigate the effects of these “weapons” by making good lifestyle choices, including getting enough sleep, switching to an organic diet, getting sufficient, regular exercise, quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption. And it is important to reduce EMF exposure by switching mobile devices to “Airplane” mode whenever possible, switching them off at night, and limiting their use to the barest minimum.
Our very survival as a species may depend on it. Learn more at Environ.news.