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Low Sperm Counts and Deformed Penises, Thanks Plastic!

Joshua Zaffos posted an article recently to AlterNet titled, “Low Sperm Counts and Deformed Penises: The Chemical Industry Has a Hold on Your Reproductive Future.” The article address the chemical industry’s abuse of our trust that the products we use have been tested and are safe. As Mark Schapiro points out here, this is not the case.

Two of the offending chemical compounds mentioned in Zaffos’s article, bisphenol-A and pthalates, are covered in Mark’s book Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power.

From the article:

I am half the man my father is.

This disturbing fortune came to me about five years ago, but not from an odd relative or a sadistic girlfriend. Instead, this dinner-table diagnosis came from Theo (short for Theodora) Colborn, an internationally known scientist who has helped develop the field of research exploring how chemical compounds interfere with the hormones that guide human development.

Known as endocrine disruption, chemicals found in computer screens and car seats, shower curtains and shampoo, plastic water bottles and prophylactics are skewing our odds against cancers and causing developmental delays and reproductive roadblocks, including declining sperm counts.

So, when Colborn informed me of my inferior manhood, I took consolation in the fact that she was indicting my entire generation — and her own — for loading our natural environment, our workplaces and our homes with tens of thousands of chemical compounds without really having a clue about what we’re doing. Our Stolen Future, the book Colborn co-authored in 1996, first delivered this bad news to the general public.

More than a decade later, scientists are still conducting experiments and measuring results, from cramped basement labs at universities to expansive high-country lakes in the wilderness. The hypotheses generally aren’t questions of whether chemicals are pervading and persisting in the environment, but rather how severely they are stunting our development and health. The federal government has investigated these questions with timidity, if not contempt, operating a regulatory system practically beholden to the chemical industry.

With half of my manhood at stake and hopes for a better assessment in the future, I’m wondering how we can heed the warning signs and reverse our chemical course.

 The full article can be found here.


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