Experts fear plastic pollution and microplastics could cause infertility in humans as the average sperm count continues to drop.
Microplastics can be found in the air, in our food, in our organs, and recently microplastics were found in human blood for the first time. Scientists believe that it is likely all of this and the chemicals that are entering our bodies that could cause infertility amongst humanity.
Males who have fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter are considered infertile. In the 1970s, sperm count in Western countries had an average of 99 million sperm per milliliter, but by 2011, this number had dropped to 47 million.
Experts believe that this is caused by the chemicals in the plastic that we use every day. Chemicals such as phthalates and bisphenols, also known as endocrine disruptors, are extremely harmful to our bodies. However, they can be found in dishware, food cans, containers, water bottles, you name it. They are also in furniture, electronics, even glass lenses, and they are in the pesticides that are used to grow our food.
Unfortunately, even buying organic doesn’t mean you can escape these chemicals. Microplastics can be found virtually anywhere and everywhere on the planet. They’ve been found on top of Mount Everest and in women’s placentas. Even if we can lower the use of plastic and microplastics in the environment, we cannot undo the damage that has already been done to our bodies.
Unsurprisingly, the plastic industry denies that the drop in sperm counts could have anything to do with a plastic and the fact that the chemicals do any harm to our bodies. Other factors also contribute to infertility, like obesity, smoking, and drinking. However, we cannot run away from the fact that these endocrine disruptors are affecting public health and sperm counts.
Dr. Shanna Swan has been the leading voice on this topic and wrote the 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.” She told the Salon,
“Chemicals in plastic (phthalates, bisphenols and others) as well as pesticides, lead and other environmental exposures are linked to impaired reproduction including sperm count and quality.”
Many speculate that mass infertility could happen within our lifetimes. We need to combat the plastic problem and get these massive companies to take responsibility for public health and the damage they are causing! Sign this petition to join the fight against plastic pollution!
Read more about how companies like Facebook, Tupperware, Google, Dove, Budweiser, Carlsberg, and FIJI Water are working towards reducing plastic pollution. Places around the world like Tel Aviv, California, Baltimore, Scotland, and many more are banning various single-use plastics, and others are coming up with creative ways to recycle and use plastic waste.
There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter, and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!
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