The chemicals to blame for our reproductive crisis are found everywhere and in everything
The end of humankind? It may be coming sooner than we think, thanks to hormone-disrupting chemicals that are decimating fertility at an alarming rate around the globe. A new book called Countdown, by Shanna Swan, an environmental and reproductive epidemiologist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, finds that sperm counts have dropped almost 60% since 1973. Following the trajectory we are on, Swan’s research suggests sperm counts could reach zero by 2045. Zero. Let that sink in. That would mean no babies. No reproduction. No more humans. Forgive me for asking: why isn’t the UN calling an emergency meeting on this right now?
The chemicals to blame for this crisis are found in everything from plastic containers and food wrapping, to waterproof clothes and fragrances in cleaning products, to soaps and shampoos, to electronics and carpeting. Some of them, called PFAS, are known as “forever chemicals”, because they don’t breakdown in the environment or the human body. They just accumulate and accumulate – doing more and more damage, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. Now, it seems, humanity is reaching a breaking point.
Swan’s book is staggering in its findings. “In some parts of the world, the average twentysomething woman today is less fertile than her grandmother was at 35,” Swan writes. In addition to that, Swan finds that, on average, a man today will have half of the sperm his grandfather had. “The current state of reproductive affairs can’t continue much longer without threatening human survival,” writes Swan, adding: “It’s a global existential crisis.” That’s not hyperbole. That’s just science.As if this wasn’t terrifying enough, Swan’s research finds that these chemicals aren’t just dramatically reducing semen quality, they are also shrinking penis size and volume of the testes. This is nothing short of a full-scale emergency for humanity.
Swan’s book echoes previous research, which has found that PFAS harms sperm production, disrupts the male hormone and is correlated to a “reduction of semen quality, testicular volume and penile length”. These chemicals are literally confusing our bodies, making them send mix messages and go haywire.
Given everything we know about these chemicals, why isn’t more being done? Right now, there is a paltry patchwork of inadequate legislation responding to this threat. Laws and regulations vary from country to country, region to region, and, in the United States, state to state. The European Union, for example, has restricted several phthalates in toys and sets limits on phthalates considered “reprotoxic” – meaning they harm the human reproductive capacities – in food production.
In the United States, a scientific study found phthalate exposure “widespread” in infants, and that the chemicals were found in the urine of babies who came into contact with baby shampoos, lotions and powders. Still, aggressive regulation is lacking, not least because of lobbying by chemical industry giants.
In the state of Washington, lawmakers managed to pass the Pollution Prevention for Our Future Act, which “directs state agencies to address classes of chemicals and moves away from a chemical by chemical approach, which has historically resulted in companies switching to equally bad or worse substitutes. The first chemical classes to be addressed in products include phthalates, PFAS, PCBs, alkyphenol ethoxylate and bisphenol compounds, and organohalogen flame retardants.” The state has taken important steps to address the extent of chemical pollution, but by and large, the United States, like many other countries, is fighting a losing battle because of weak, inadequate legislation.
In the United States today, for example, you can’t eat the deer meat caught in in Oscoda, Michigan, as the health department there issued a “do not eat” advisory for deer caught near the former air force base because of staggeringly high PFOS levels in the muscle of one deer.
And, just the other week, hundreds of residents who live near Luke air force base in Arizona were advised not to drink their water, when tests detected high levels of toxic chemicals. Scientists have found these substances in the blood of nearly all the people they tested in the US. No country or region on earth is untouched by PFAS contamination. It is a global problem. PFAS has been found in every corner of the globe. It is virtually present in the bodies of every human. It’s found in fish deep in the sea, and birds flying high in the sky.
And it’s killing us, literally, by harming and attacking the very source of life: our reproductive capacities. The rapid death and decline of sperm must be addressed, and it must be addressed now. There simply is no time to lose.
STUDY: Chemical That Causes Penises To Shrink Found In Face Masks
Phthalates has been linked to genital shrinkage, decreased fertility rates, and less masculine behavior in young boys
by GABRIEL KEANEMarch 25, 2021
Dr. Shanna Swan, a professor of Environmental Medicine & Public Health at Mount Sinai Health System, has warned in a new book that phthalates, a chemical commonly used in the manufacturing of plastics, can shrink penises and decrease male fertility.
A study listed in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, which operates under the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, found that the microplastics used in the manufacturing of Covid face masks contain a number of toxic chemicals, including the penis-shrinking phthalates.
PHTHALATES LINKED TO PENILE SHRINKAGE
Dr. Swans’s book “Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race” warns that humanity is facing an “existential crisis” in fertility rates as a direct result of the chemical phthalates, and most men may be infertile by 2045.
As Sky News reported, Dr. Swan found that “male human babies who had been exposed to the phthalates in the womb had a shorter anogenital distance – something that correlated with penile volume.” Dr. Swan’s research also discovered that rats exposed to phthalates were born with shrunken genitals.
Other sources have also documented the link between phthalates and decreased male fertility. WebMD reported in 2009 on a study by Swan that found young boys whose mothers were exposed to high levels of phthalates were more likely to exhibit non-masculine behavior and less likely to “play with trucks and other male-typical toys or to play fight.”
A doctor who reviewed Swan’s study for WebMD found “exposure to the chemicals can cause a wide range of male reproductive harm, including undescended testicles, birth defects of the genitals, and infertility later in life.”
Even the CDC, which claims the effects of phthalates on human health are “unknown,” admits “Some types of phthalates have affected the reproductive system of laboratory animals.”
PHTHALATES IN FACE MASKS AND PPE
A 2020 study by chemical environmental engineering researcher Tadele Assefa Aragaw titled “Surgical face masks as a potential source for microplastic pollution in the COVID-19 scenario” lists several of the harmful side effects of Covid mask pollution in great detail.
The study is listed in the PubMed.gov archive, which is managed by the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) National Center for Biotechnology Information. The NLM is an institute within the National Institutes of Health
Microplastics contained within face masks are noted within the report to have an “enormous effect on the aquatic biota, and the entire environment,” as well as being a source of “chronic health problems to humans.”
Perhaps most damningly, the study goes on to note that microplastics “contain toxic chemicals as an additive like phthalate, organotin, nonylphenol, polybrominated biphenyl ether, and triclosan.”
“Those toxic chemicals can be released during the degradation processes (either chemically or biologically) of plastic polymers in the open environment,” the report notes.
The link between phthalates’ effect on male fertility and its potential existence within face masks has not been clearly explained by U.S. health officials or members of the pro-mask Biden administration.
As National File reported earlier this week, Covid face mask pollution has already taken a staggering toll on the environment, with an estimated 1.56 billion masks – “amounting to between 4,680 and 6,240 metric tonnes of plastic pollution” according to ecological experts – entering the world’s oceans in 2020.