Male infertility: endocrine disruptors questioned

Male infertility: endocrine disruptors questioned

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Present in many everyday products, endocrine disruptors have been suspected for several years to be harmful to health. A new study accuses them today of decreasing the quality of sperm.

Beauty products, food containers, cleaning products ... endocrine disruptors are present in many everyday products, at varying doses, and their health hazard has been suspected for several years. Bisphenol A, present in plastic bottles until 2010 before a ban is passed, is the best known of these substances but not the only one ...

1 in 3 products affects spermatozoa

  • New German-Danish study draws attention to the effects of other substances. The researchers analyzed 96 so-called "non-toxic" chemicals and found that one out of three products affected the quality of spermatozoa. Among the most harmful substances for health are 4-methylbenzylidene camphor, a UV filter used in sunscreens but also Triclosan, an antibacterial agent found in toothpastes. These endocrine disruptors act on the CatSper chain, which regulates motility of spermatozoa and interferes with fertility. For the authors of the study, it "provides scientific evidence that should help create laws and govern practices around the world".

In France, new measures

  • In France, the subject is taken seriously by politicians. On April 29, a National Strategy on Endocrine Disruptors (SNPE) was adopted by the government. Objective: to reduce the exposure of the population to these substances " Their effects on human health and the environment today documented call for action to prevent risks (… ) especially for susceptible populations, pregnant women and young children ", specifies the text. Among the measures presented: increased support for scientific research, the withdrawal of bisphenol A from receipts and the reinforcement of controls to monitor the presence of phthalates in toys intended for children under 3, a substance already prohibited in European level.
  • While waiting for concrete measures, what attitude to adopt daily to reduce risks? Open the eye when buying a product and scrutinize the mentions "without bisphenol" or "without paraben", they are more numerous for cosmetics. Avoid microwavable food containers, canned beverages and cans. Prefer fresh foods, in glass jars, or frozen.

Stéphanie Letellier

(News of 18 and 19/05/14)