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BPA Link to Decreased Male Fertility

The evidence keeps growing of health effects with BPA exposure, especially during pregnancy and childhood. To minimize BPA exposure try to use glass instead of plastic. Try to drink from and store liquids in glass containers, and do not microwave food in plastic dishes. From Medical Daily:

BPA Disrupts Sperm Production In Mice, Could Be Linked To Decreased Fertility In Men

BPA, or bisphenol A, is a chemical component of plastic that is often found in plastic food containers, plastic bottles, and thermal receipts. Now, a new study shows a direct link between this chemical and disrupted sperm production in mice. BPA disrupts the delicate DNA interactions needed to create sperm, say the Washington State University researchers.

Sperm counts have declined over the past few decades worldwide, scientists warn. In Denmark, more than 40 percent of young men have sperm counts in the infertility or decreased fertility range. Reports from other European countries, Japan, and the United States all tell the same story. Sperm counts, though, may be only the tip of the iceberg. Studies also document an increase in abnormalities of male reproductive organs, including undescended testicles, hypospadias (when the urethra opening is misplaced on the penis), and increased incidence of testicular cancer — a constellation of male disorders referred to as testicular dysgenesis syndrome. This syndrome is thought to result from exposure, during early development, to estrogens. BPA is an endocrine disrupting chemical with estrogenic activity. Could descending sperm counts and testicular dysgenesis syndrome be linked to early exposures to this chemical?

Hunt and her colleagues gave newborn male mice oral doses of BPA. They also exposed another group of mice to the synthetic estrogen, ethinyl estradiol, which is used in many formulations of hormonal contraceptives (such as birth control pills). They also exposed another group of mice to a placebo. ..The team discovered that the sperm of BPA exposed mice did a poorer job of meiosis, the process by which cells combine the genetic information of their parents. As a result, more sperm died."We have a window of just a few days and we permanently change the way that the testis makes sperm in the adult," says Hunt.Hunt worries that sperm counts will continue to go down with each exposed generation. 

Same study, but this write-up has more background. From Environmental Health News:

BPA exposure linked to changes in stem cells, lower sperm production

The study, published online today in PLoS Genetics, is the first to suggest that low, brief exposures to bisphenol-A, or other estrogens such as those used in birth control but found as water contaminants, early in life can alter the stem cells responsible for producing sperm later in life...These exposures – comparable to human exposures to the compounds -- caused “permanent alterations” to the stem cells responsible for sperm production, the authors wrote.