main banner
You are here: Home page » News » Latest news

Male reproductive health under threat

A scientific review released today highlights the dangers of exposing people and especially pregnant women to hormone disrupting chemicals in consumer products, and focuses on the risks these pose to baby boys and the reproductive health of men.

The report, commissioned by HEAL’s partner organization CHEM Trust is entitled Male Reproductive Health Disorders and the Potential Role of Exposure to Environmental Chemicals . It is written by one of the world’s leading experts in reproductive biology, Professor Richard Sharpe of the Medical Research Council (MRC) in Edinburgh, UK.

Scientists now think that birth defects of boy’s genitals, low sperm counts and testicular cancer, collectively called Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome (TDS), may all have their origins during development in the womb. Testosterone, the male hormone, is needed to form a normal penis and to make the testicles ‘drop’ whilst the baby is in the uterus. Many everyday chemicals in the environment or in consumer products have the potential to block the action of testosterone, and a baby’s exposure to this mixture of chemicals may undermine this process and harm future male reproductive health. This new CHEM Trust report highlights that animal studies have clearly established that certain hormone disrupting chemicals, in particular testosterone disrupting chemicals, can cause TDS-like disorders.

There are also two new publications for the general public which present these scientific findings on risk factors and TDS and the role of certain chemicals in the environment. These publications, which are available for downloading, include:

A new briefing for the public entitled Evidence for men under threat: A referenced briefing on the decline in male reproductive health and the links with chemical exposure during in-utero development written by CHEM Trust (6 pages plus references)


- A new leaflet entitled Men Under Threat: A leaflet on the decline in male reproductive health, and the potential role of exposure to chemicals jointly published by CHEM Trust and HEAL.

Last updated on 21 June 2011

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

Contact us

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
28 Boulevard Charlemagne
B1000 Brussels, Belgium
Phone: +32 2 234 3640
Fax: +32 2 234 3649
Press: Elke Zander

Direct telephone numbers: HEAL team page.

HEAL website privacy policy