Study: Bisphenol A damages sperm

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Study: Bisphenol A damages men's sperm, at least if they come into contact with the chemical excessively.

The global chemical "bisphenol A" reduces the number and reduces the quality of sperm, according to a new study. The chemical has long been suspected of influencing human hormones. A recent Chinese study supports this suspicion.

Study shows that sperm are significantly affected
The chemical "bisphenol A" (BPA) is a so-called plasticizer, which is represented in all kinds of everyday products. Even children's toys and utensils such as pacifiers and baby bottles are made with this harmful chemical. The reason: BPA works in a similar way to the female hormone estrogen and thus has a lasting effect on human hormone levels. A Chinese study now supports this suspicion. The new, recently published study collected data from 218 workers in four different factories in China. The BPA concentration in the urine was measured. These data were then compared with the number of sperm, motility and shape. A proportion of the workers in the factories did not come into contact with bisphenol A during the manufacturing process. Other workers have been involved in their work with BPA. The scientists around Dr. De-Kun Li from the US insurance company “Kaiser Permanente” in Oakland, California compared the data sets and came to clear results.

Those who came into contact with the chemical daily clearly showed higher risk factors. In contrast to the comparison group, they were more than twice as likely to have sperm with reduced mobility. In addition, there was a more than three-fold increased risk for sperm with lower vitality. There was even a fourfold increase in the risk of having a greatly reduced number of sperm. According to the study authors, the differences measured were clear and significant. However, a connection between BPA and deformed sperm was not proven in the study. "The higher the BPA exposure, the lower the sperm quality," Li told the Washington Post newspaper. For the first time, a study was able to show that BPA has a negative impact on sperm production.

Women are also affected
But not only men could be harmed by the influence of bisphenol-A. The environmental protection organization "Global 2000" recently warned of the mass use of the substance. So the chemical can affect the hormonal balance of women and lead to disorders of the ovaries. "A new study suggests the relationship between BPA and infertility in women. The plastic chemical can seriously disrupt the hormonal balance and lead to ovarian diseases," said Daniela Hoffmann of "Global 2000".

Lobby claims that high BPA concentrations are hardly possible
However, other researchers repeatedly claim that low BPA concentrations cannot harm the human organism. However, it is not taken into account here that BPA is used in large quantities in industry. From childhood, people are inevitably in contact with BPA. The material can be found in baby bottles, pacifiers, food packaging, thermal paper, plastic bottles and many other items. A potential separation is therefore not actually possible, since it is a versatile plasticizer. Exposures over a longer period of time increasingly burden the human organism.

Federal Environment Agency warns of bisphenol-A
The Federal Environment Agency was recently unable to deny this fact and warned consumers and manufacturers about the use of BPA. Chairman Jochen Flasbarth of the Federal Environment Agency warned: "From the perspective of the Federal Environment Agency there are still gaps in the data, but the available knowledge should be sufficient to limit the use of certain bisphenol A-containing products for precautionary reasons". There is currently no ban, just a warning. In some countries, such as Canada or France, you are already beyond warning status. Here the use of BPA in products for children has already been banned. A labeling requirement could force manufacturers to switch to other substances. Because then the consumer would have the opportunity to choose between BPA and BPA-free products. A general ban would be even better. (sb, Nov 7, 2010)

Also read:
Bisphenol-A damages sperm
Federal Environment Agency warns of chemical bisphenol A
Study: Girls getting sexually mature earlier
Chemical bisphenol-A found on receipts
Hormone-active chemicals threaten health

Photo credit: Dieter Schütz /

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Video: The Toxic Truth BPA Bisphenol A

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