A study published on May 12, 2014 in the scientific peer-reviewed journal EMBO reports sheds new light on how endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) may affect human fertility (Schiffer et al. 2014). Researchers from the Center of Advanced European Studies and Research in Bonn, Germany, and the University Department of Growth and Reproduction, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark investigated how mixtures of 33 different EDCs found in everyday products affected calcium signaling in human sperm. As a consequence of the disturbed calcium signal, sperm were less motile and less receptive to chemical triggers facilitating navigation towards the egg cell. In addition, penetration of the egg cell is assumed to be impaired. Some of the chemicals present in the mixture are also present in food contact materials, like triclosan (CAS 3380-34-5), benzophenone-3 (BP-3, CAS 131-57-7), and dibutyl phthalate (DBP, CAS 84-74-2).

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Endocrine disruptors impair human sperm function. EMBO reports, press release (12 May 2014).


Schiffer, C. et al. (2014) “Direct action of endocrine disrupting chemicals on human sperm.EMBO reports (published online 12 May 2014).