Microplastic pollution found in all tested human sperm samples

The number of sperm in men has been declining for decades and chemical pollution may be among the determining factors: this is highlighted once again by research that found microplastics in all the human sperm samples tested

A recent study has uncovered that microplastic pollution is present in all human sperm samples tested, raising serious concerns about potential reproductive health damage. The analysis was conducted on 40 healthy men undergoing premarital evaluations in Jinan, China.

These findings align with similar studies, including an Italian research that found microplastics in 60% of sperm samples and another Chinese study that identified them in half of the samples analyzed. Chinese scientists emphasized the need for further research to better understand the impact of microplastics on human reproduction.

Sperm count decline linked to chemical pollution

The number of sperm in men has been declining for decades, with 40% of low counts still unexplained. Many studies have linked chemical pollution to this phenomenon. Recent research has shown that microplastics can reduce sperm count, cause abnormalities, and create hormonal disorders, suggesting a potential risk to male reproductive health.

Eight different types of plastic identified in sperm samples

The research, published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, identified eight different types of plastic in sperm samples, with polystyrene being the most common, followed by polyethylene and PVC. Scientists warned that microplastics could cause tissue inflammation and that chemicals in plastics might be harmful.

Microplastics have also been found in other parts of the human body, such as blood, placenta, and breast milk, indicating widespread contamination. The health effects are not yet fully understood, but it is known that microplastics can damage human cells in laboratory settings. Millions of tons of plastic waste are released into the environment each year, polluting everything from the deepest seas to mountain peaks.

Call for action to curb plastic waste

Luigi Montano of the University of Rome highlighted the importance of interventions to stop the exponential increase in plastic waste. Over 180 nations are negotiating a United Nations treaty to regulate plastic and reduce pollution. Montano warned that if microplastic pollution continues to negatively affect human sperm quality, it could have severe consequences for our species in the future.
Microplastic found in human sperm
The article draws upon studies published and recommendations from international institutions and/or experts. We do not make claims in the medical-scientific field and report the facts as they are. Sources are indicated at the end of each article.
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