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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)

and

- 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

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