On an everyday basis, we are unknowingly exposing ourselves to different harmful chemicals. These chemicals may be risking our lives in different ways impeding the normal functioning of the body. One such study shows from George Washington University shows us exactly that. According to the findings of the report, males subjected to banned long-lasting chemicals at high levels may lead to the production of defective sperm which can, in turn, affect fertility.
The research mainly referred to organochlorine chemicals such as DDT and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). They are known to cause fertility malfunctioning by affecting the maturity of the testicles. It is important to know that both PCB and DDT were banned by the US government in 1972. However, scientists strongly believe that there might be remains of the chemicals present in water and soil. This is what is leading to defective sperm in men.
Banned Chemicals & Abnormal Sperm
Dr. Melissa Perry is the lead author of the research and a professor at George Washington University. According to Dr. Perry the step taken by the government to ban DDT and PCB was all the more necessary. The consequences of using them are plentiful, greatly risking human life. However, that being said, the chemicals continue to be present in our environment and some people might actually be tested positive for the presence.
The study considered blood and sperm samples of 90 different men. The participants were believed to be subjected to high levels of organochlorine chemicals such as DDT and PCB. Accordingly, the chromosome count of sperms was also considered. The results showed that for most men with higher levels of DDT, PCB had abnormalities within their sperm. Whether this will cause straightaway impotency is rather unknown. However, researchers are adamant that this abnormality will definitely affect fertility.
DDT is commonly manufactured to be used as a pesticide for insect control. On the other hand, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) is mainly found in transistors and other electronics. The US government banned both of these chemicals after they were discovered to be damaging wildlife and the environment. Now, as per new research findings, they may continue to pose an increasing danger: in the form of sperm abnormality.
Decline in Fertility
A number of research studies have been put in place to study the potential cause of male infertility. All around the globe including the US, impotency is on the rise which has worried medical scientists.
The presence of DDT and PCB in the environment despite being banned may offer one viable explanation. The study showed how exposure can impede the normal function of the sperm. While, this study does not state explicitly, but previous researches have concluded that a defective sperm can cause failed pregnancies along with birth complications.
There is a need to be worried about the problem more so than ever. DDT and PCB are still being used elsewhere in other parts of the world without countries realizing the resulting consequences. It is important for international bodies to step in and prevent usage before the problem exacerbates. Having said that, the US government should execute the necessary steps to minimize exposure. Decontamination of soil, water should take place so our male population continue to have healthy sperm growth.