BPA Linked To Low Sperm Count And Poor Quality: Study

Exposure to high amounts of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), which is found in many types of hard plastic bottles and other consumer products, appears to be linked to low sperm count and poor sperm quality, according to the results of a new study of Chinese male workers.  The study provides further evidence about the potential risks associated with BPA exposure for humans.

The study was conducted by researchers with Kaiser Permanente and published in the online edition of Fertility and Sterility, the medical journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. The research comes as the FDA continues to re-evaluate BPA’s safety.

Researchers looked at 218 men in four regions in China who were exposed to high levels of BPA in the workplace. They found that men with high levels of BPA in their urine were four times more likely to have a low sperm count, had triple the risk of low sperm concentration and vitality, and double the risk of low sperm motility, when compared to men without high levels of BPA.

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BPA is used to make many plastic products hard and shatterproof. Originally developed as a form of synthetic estrogen, it is used in the manufacture of many consumer products, such as bottles, cups, can liners, baby products and other food containers.

Exposure to BPA is suspected of causing hormonal changes by impacting the human endocrine system. It has also been linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Some prior research has also suggested that BPA side effects can cause developmental abnormalities and other problems over time in infants and young children.

Earlier this year, the FDA recommended that parents take “reasonable steps” to reduce infant exposure to BPA. The federal regulatory agency is currently conducting a re-evaluation of the safety of BPA, after previously indicating that exposure to the levels used in consumer products is safe. The new review was initiated in June 2009 after the FDA received substantial criticism from outside groups, politicians and its own scientists.

Many retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Toys “R” Us, have already voluntarily decided to stop selling certain baby products that contain BPA, and several states have moved to ban the use of BPA in infant products.


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