In an article published on March 11, 2017 by The New York Times, columnist Nicholas Kristof illustrated the decrease of semen quality and fertility in men and explained the links to exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). He recounted that about 90% of sperm in today’s young men are “misshapen, sometimes with two heads or two tails.” He further informed that sperm counts have dropped sharply in the last 75 years, affecting people’s ability to reproduce. According to Shanna Swan, epidemiologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, U.S., “there’s been a decrease not only in sperm numbers, but also in their quality and swimming capacity, their ability to deliver the goods.” Andrea Gore, professor of pharmacology at the University of Texas at Austin, U.S., added that “semen quality and fertility in men have decreased.” Therefore, “not everyone who wants to reproduce will be able to,” she stated and noted that “the costs of male disorders to quality of life, and the economic burden to society, are inestimable.”

Kristof further reported that human and animal studies have provided evidence that EDCs, “found in plastics, cosmetics, couches, pesticides and countless other products,” are contributing to this phenomenon. “The crisis for male reproductive health seems to begin in utero,” Kristof highlighted. EDCs mimic hormones and interfere with the development of male fetuses, he explained. To reduce exposure to EDCs, Shanna Swan recommended to avoid plastics, including food and drinks that have been in contact or heated in plastic. However, Kristof stressed that “this isn’t just a matter of individual action, but is also a public policy issue.” He called for “more aggressive regulation” of EDCs and pointed out that “most chemicals sold in the U.S. have never been tested for safety.”

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Nicholas Kristof (March 11, 2017). “Are your sperm in trouble?The New York Times