ANN ARBOR, Mich., Aug. 9 (UPI) — A U.S. researcher says decreased sperm and damaged sperm may be linked to a chemical used in plastics.
Lead author John Meeker of the University of Michigan School of Public Health at Ann Arbor says exposure to the chemical — Bisphenol A also known as BPA and commonly used to coat food and beverage cans — can be measured by checking concentration levels in the urine.
Some contend, Meeker says, BPA mimics human hormones and may negatively affect health.
Meeker and colleagues compared men in the top quartile of exposure to BPA versus those in the lowest quartile of exposure. They found sperm concentration was, on average, about 23 percent lower in men with the highest BPA. Results also suggested a 10 percent increase in sperm DNA damage.
The study, published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology, suggests the findings are preliminary — involving a small sample size of 190 men — and more research needs to focus on BPA and the health effects in adults.
“Much of the focus for BPA is on the exposures in utero or in early life, which is of course extremely important, but this suggests exposure may also be a concern for adults,” Meeker said in a statement. “Research should focus on impacts of exposure throughout multiple life stages.”
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