Bisphenol-A damages sperm

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The bulk chemical bisphenol-A damages sperm.

(08/05/2010) More and more studies point to the health hazards that can arise from the bulk chemical bisphenol-A. It has now been found that bisphenol-A (BPA) may have a major impact on the quality of sperm in men.

The chemical bisphenol-A is hidden in many plastic items that are used every day. The chemical substance is mainly used to manufacture baby bottles, pacifiers, food packaging, thermal paper, plastic bottles and many other items. Scientists and environmental groups have repeatedly warned against the use of the harmful chemical. Despite the criticism, manufacturers continue to use BPA. The chemical works in a similar way to the female hormone estrogen and has been suspected for years because of its hormone-like effects of sustainably damaging the human genome.

A study by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (Reproductive Toxicology (2010; doi: 10.1016 / j.reprotox.2010.07.005) has now shown that bisphenol-A has a major impact on the quality of male sperm. 190 subjects were involved in the study All men gave urine and sperm samples, and some of the men (78) gave two more samples for examination over a period of two months The samples were then checked for concentration, motility and shape, and the sperm were examined for possible DNA damage in the sperm cells.

The result was clearly related to bisphenol-A. The chemical was found in 93 percent of the urine samples. Men who had high BPA concentrations also found a 23 percent lower semen concentration and around 10 percent more DNA damage. Conversely, the result was that the values ​​were significantly better in the subjects with little or no BPA traces.

However, the researchers emphasize that due to the small number of study participants, the results should initially be regarded as preliminary. The scientists point out that further large-scale studies are already planned in order to substantiate the previous results. So at first only one hint could be spoken of. Study author John Meeker: "The study suggests that BPA has a negative impact in all phases of life". So far, studies have focused almost exclusively on the damage to the health of unborn babies and young children. Now there are first indications that the bulk chemical BPA is also a health hazard in adulthood.

The study also confirms previous animal experiments. In these studies, harmful effects of BPA in sperm in rodents have already been identified. According to study authors, the effects are "biologically plausible because BPA has estrogen-like effects. Recently, US researchers reported in the Journal of Andrology (2010; doi: 10.2164 / jandrol.110.010413) about increased erectile dysfunction, restrictions on libido and other potency problems in men, that were employed in factories in China, where the chemical "bisphenol-A" is produced.

Use is still permitted in Germany. The Federal Environment Agency only warned consumers and manufacturers against the use of products that contain BPA. Although the use of the bulk chemical bisphenol-A in the manufacture of baby bottles and other products for children has been banned in France, Canada and Denmark, the European Food Safety Authority EFSA continues to classify the chemical as "harmless" to consumers at the moment. (sb)

Also read:
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

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Video: What is Bisphenol-A or BPA, and where is it used?

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