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Synthetics and Sperm

A few blog posts back, we focused on the need for men to be aware of their sperm count and overall fertility health. Knowing that fertility takes two, it is just as important for men to have quality sperm and a high sperm count as it is for women to have a plentiful number of eggs that are high quality. In short, it’s not just about the health of the eggs or solely a woman’s issue, as it is often wrongly assumed. Now, there is even more reason to be concerned about the health of men’s sperm. A recent NYTs article noted that sperm counts in men in the U.S. and Europe declined by 50% from 1973 to 2011. That’s a concerning drop, and the fact that the sperm counts were measured in men from the developed, Western world, indicates that one major factor causing such a decline is the exposure these men have to synthetic chemicals—in products, drugs, home furnishings, cars, cities. You name it. Any aspect of modern life entails some encounter with synthetics. Authors of the study are using this research as a way to advocate for better regulations in the creation of chemicals. While regulations have long been in place, often the “Big Chem” industry switches out one harmful chemical for another. But there is growing awareness in the field of chemistry, and some chemists are seeking out new ways of doing chemistry. “Green Chemistry,” is the term now used in the industry and it involves working to create safer chemicals for the synthetics that make up our daily lives. While it is difficult for consumers to have full control over their exposure to synthetics, there are some steps we can take to limit the amount of harmful toxins we consume and use. We invite you to take a look at our last blog written on this topic, which cited Nicolas Kristof’s NYTs op-ed “Are Your Sperm in Trouble?” and provided some resources for those looking to limit exposure to chemicals that threaten fertility– for both women and men.