Chemicals not the culprit: Sperm counts stable, not declining

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Radical environmentalists have pointed to chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates as “toxins” responsible for causing obesity, cancer, and even male infertility due to decreased sperm counts. As proof, they cite a 1992 study by a group of Danish researchers that claimed sperm counts declined by 50 percent worldwide from 1938 to 1991. However, their research was heavily criticized for its many flaws, methodological problems, and biases. Now, though, the life raft that anti-chemical zealots have clung to is sinking, as a new study by the same group of researchers found no decline in the sperm counts of its male cohort. Data gathered from 5,000 18-year-old men over the course of 15 years detected no decrease in sperm numbers or quality; still, the researchers did not publish these monumental findings. Instead, the data was posted on a website for the Danish Ministry of Health and later was published by the journal Epidemiology. According to commentary by Dr. Jens Peter Bonde, a fertility researcher at Copenhagen University Hospital, the research constitutes “the best longitudinal semen data yet available.”

“We know that the so-called decline in sperm count is just another myth promulgated by the ‘our stolen future’ crowd who say that environmental chemicals lead to infertility in men,” says ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross. “But now we have proof that’s simply not true.”