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Home / Health & Science

Beware: Chemicals in your home may cause low sperm quality

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy AGENCIES | Tue,Mar 05 2019 19:40:07 EAT
By AGENCIES | Tue,Mar 05 2019 19:40:07 EAT

New research suggests that environmental pollutants found in the home and diet have the same adverse effects on male fertility in both humans and domestic dogs.

In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers at the University of Nottingham detailed how it tested the impact of two human-made chemicals on the sperm of humans and dogs.

One chemical, DEHP, is an additive that increases the plasticity of a material. It is found at home in abundance, mostly in carpets, upholstery, clothing and toys.

The other, polychlorinated biphenyl 153 (PCB153), is an industrial chemical that once had a wide variety of applications. Though banned from production globally since 2001, PCB153 is still found in abundance in the environment, including in both human and dog food.

When the researchers incubated sperm from human and dog donors with concentrations of the chemicals comparable to those found in the natural environment, they found that the chemicals had the same damaging effect on both species’ sperm, decreasing its motility and increasing damage to its DNA.

In a news release, researcher Richard Lea said the findings “suggest that man-made chemicals that have been widely used in the home and working environment may be responsible for the fall in sperm quality reported in both man and dog that share the same environment.”

The study is the first to find that DEHP and PCB153 impact sperm quality. It also reveals that the impact is the same for humans and dogs, which could prove extremely valuable for future research on the global sperm quality decline and the infertility crisis it’s causing.

“This means that dogs may be an effective model for future research into the effects of pollutants on declining fertility,” researcher Rebecca Sumner said, “particularly because external influences such as diet are more easily controlled than in humans.”

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