June 25, 2024

Microplastics were found in the semen of all 40 men who participated in a new study

Microplastics have been discovered in the semen of all the participants in a new study.

Microplastics were first discovered in semen samples last year, but the new study, conducted in China, raises the possibility that a significant proportion of the male population, perhaps even all men, may have microplastics in their semen.

Semen samples were taken from 40 men in Jinan, China, and raman microspectroscopy was used to identify and quantify microplastic particles in the samples.

Microplastics were detected in every one of the 40 samples, with an average of two particles per sample. Eight distinct types of plastic were identified, with polystyrene being the most prevalent, accounting for 31% of the plastic identified.

Image: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.173522

Although plastic was found in all of the samples, physical abnormalities were not significantly associated with specific plastic types. Sperm motility was affected by some types of plastic more than others.

The researchers state that further research into the effects of microplastics on male reproductive parameters needs to be carried out.

A recent study found microplastics in the testicles of all the men who participated. Microplastics have now been found in more or less every human tissue, from the lungs, gut, liver and kidneys, to the brain and reproductive organs.

Plastics and plastic chemicals have been heavily implicated in the growing fertility crisis throughout the developed world. Sperm counts and testosterone levels among men have decreased to such an extent in recent decades that some experts, like Professor Shanna Swan, warn of a “spermageddon” scenario, where sperm counts drop so low that natural reproduction becomes impossible.

On the basis of current trends, Professor Swan has suggested “spermageddon” could arrive as early as 2045.

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