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Common Chemicals Threaten Male Fertility

Posted in Uncategorized by Pulse Health Screening on June 4, 2009
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A leading scientist has warned that chemicals found in many food, cosmetic and cleaning products pose a real threat to male fertility. Professor Richard Sharpe, of the Medical Research Council, says that these hormone-disrupting chemicals are “feminizing” boys in the womb, leading to rising rates of birth defects, testicular cancer, and low sperm counts.

It is thought that all these conditions, collectively called Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome (TDS), are linked to disruption of the male sex hormone testosterone. Professor Sharpe concluded that exposure to a cocktail of hormone-disrupting chemicals in the environment is likely to be at least partly to blame by blocking the action of testosterone in the womb.

His latest report, commissioned by an organisation called CHEM Trust, highlights animal studies showing that testosterone-disrupting chemicals can cause TDS-like disorders.

CHEM Trust Director, Elizabeth Salter Green comments:

“Chemicals that have been shown to act together to affect male reproductive health should have their risks assessed together. Currently that is not the case, and unfortunately chemicals are looked at on an individual basis.

Therefore, government assurances that exposures are too low to have any effect just do not hold water because regulators do not take into account the additive actions of hormone disrupting chemicals.”

Endocrine disrupting chemicals are everywhere these days. You are exposed to them from a variety of sources, including countless common household products, toys, personal care products, and cosmetics.

Here’s a list of twelve common agents with hormonal activity, i.e. potential endocrine disrupters:
1. Phthalates — Exposure to phthalates can lead to incomplete testicular descent in foetuses. Phthalates are found in vinyl flooring, detergents, automotive plastics, soap, shampoo, deodorants, fragrances, hair spray, nail polish, plastic bags, food packaging, garden hoses, inflatable toys, blood-storage bags, and intravenous medical tubing.
2. Bisphenol A — a common ingredient in many plastics, including those in reusable water bottles and resins lining some food cans and dental sealants, can change the course of foetal development in a way that increases the risk of breast cancer.
3. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) — found in grease- and water-resistant coatings like Teflon and Gore-Tex, is a likely carcinogen.
4. Methoxychlor and Vinclozin— An insecticide and a fungicide respectively, have been found to cause changes to male mice born for as many as four subsequent generations after the initial exposure.
5. Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) — Known to be potent endocrine disrupters, these chemicals affect gene expression by turning on or off certain genes, and interfere with the way your glandular system works. They mimic the female hormone estrogen, and have been implicated as one reason behind some marine species switching from male to female.
6. Bovine growth hormones, commonly added to commercial dairy have been implicated as a contributor to premature adolescence.
7. Soy products, which are loaded with hormone-like substances.
8. MSG — A food additive that’s been linked to reduced fertility.
9. Fluoride — This chemical in at least 10% of water supplies in the UK has been linked to lower fertility rates, hormone disruption and low sperm counts.
10. Synthetically produced pharmaceuticals that are intended to be highly hormonally active, such as contraceptive pills and treatments for hormone-responsive cancers. Your body is not designed to be exposed to these synthetic hormones, and long-term use will invariably increase your risk of developing serious chronic illness.
11. Other natural chemicals, including toxins produced by components of plants (the so-called phytoestrogens, such as genistein or coumestrol) and certain fungi.
12. Other man-made chemicals and by-products released into the environment. These include some pesticides (such as pyrethroids, linuron, vinclozolin, fenitrothion, DDT and other chlorinated compounds), and a number of industrial chemicals like polychlorinated biphenols (PCBs) and dioxins.

For more information about potentially harmful ingredients in everyday products, visit www.healthychoices.co.uk/toxins.html.

Source: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/06/04/Common-Chemicals-Threaten-Male-Fertility.aspx

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