For all you macho men who couldn’t give a crap about your carbon footprint, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and other problems associated with bottled water, maybe this will help you get off the bottle: BPAs, one of the toxins in plastic bottled water, can seriously lower your sperm count. Oh, and also BPAs can cause erectile dysfunction. Still want to drink from plastic bottles? From CNN:
Exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA), a controversial chemical found in hard, clear plastics, is thought to increase the risk of birth defects, early puberty, obesity, brain damage, and some forms of cancer.
Add another potential problem to the list: A new study of Chinese factory workers suggests that very high levels of BPA exposure may decrease sperm count and contribute to other sperm-related problems in men.
The findings aren’t surprising. BPA—which can be found in some baby bottles and water bottles, as well the linings of food and beverage cans—is known to be a so-called endocrine disruptor that functions “like a weak estrogen” and blocks male sex hormones (including testosterone), says the lead author of the study, De-Kun Li, M.D., a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente’s division of research, in Oakland, California.
But the study is notable because it’s one of the first in humans to link BPA with reproductive problems. Until very recently, most of the evidence implicating BPA in health problems has come from animal or laboratory studies. (BPA has been associated with reduced sperm count in mice and rats, for instance.)
“Human studies have been the missing link,” Li says.
In the new study, which appears in the journal Fertility and Sterility, Li and his colleagues collected urine and semen samples from 218 factory workers, some of whom worked in facilities that make BPA or epoxy resin and were therefore regularly exposed to very high levels of the chemical.
Compared with men whose urine was BPA-free, those who had detectable levels of BPA were four times more likely to have a below-average sperm count, three times more likely to have fewer “live” sperm than average, and two times more likely to have below-average sperm quality (motility).
In previous studies conducted in the same population, Li’s team found a similar association between BPA exposure and erectile dysfunction, among other sexual problems…
[continues at CNN]
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