Cancer-Causing Microplastics Inside Of Men’s Genitals Could Be Linked To Infertility

( – New research is suggesting that microplastics are ubiquitous in the environment as well as the human body. Microplastics – incredibly small plastic particles – have been located at the top of Mount Everest, in the deepest ocean depths, and now in the testicles of all 36 men tested in a recent Chinese study.

Scientists tested male semen for eight different types of plastics, and the samples all contained at least one type of microplastic. The most common plastics discovered in the samples were polystyrene, which is used to produce packing foam, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which is used in modern water pipes.

Microplastics are any particle of plastic smaller than five millimeters in diameter. They typically enter the human body through food or water, but can also be breathed in if the environment is rich in tiny particulate plastics. Some of the chemicals have been connected to infertility and cancer, making the discovery all the more alarming.

Researchers at Qingdao University in China recruited 36 men who did not have a lifestyle or job that would have exposed them to higher than average amounts of plastic in the environment. The semen was filtered and treated and then analyzed under a microscope to determine the presence of microplastics, and they found the material in every sample tested.

Subsequent testing revealed what kind of plastic was in the sample and most commonly it was revealed to be polystyrene. They noted that sperm motility was reduced when PVC was present in the sperm and that the decrease was greater than if there was only polystyrene in the sample. Sperm motility is one of the major contributing factors to fertility in men and reducing it will make it more difficult for men to father children.

After entering the body, the particles can diffuse via the blood and end up in any tissue. This finding seems to indicate that microplastics are entering testicles and potentially impacting fertility rates at scale.

Researchers have previously suggested that people are ingesting roughly 5 grams of microplastics per week, which is the equivalent of a credit card.

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