BPA Now Linked To Poor Sperm
Five-year study of factory workers linked controversial chemical BPA (bisphenol A), which is in the food and drink cans, plastic bottles, and many other everyday products, with poor semen quality.
Study of 514 workers of a factory in China, conducted by investigators of the research division Kaiser Permanente, a leading provider of American health care, not for profit, health plans, is the first reported negative relationship between BFA and semen quality. Research papers are about to be published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.
Lead author Dr. De-Kun Li, reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California and his colleagues found that workers with higher urinary BPA was from two to four times the risk associated with poor semen quality, including including low sperm count, motility, viability and concentration, as compared with those who had low urinary BPA.
Lee told the media that:
"Compared with men without detectable urinary BPA, those with detectable urinary BPA were more than three times the risk of lowering the concentration of sperm and sperm count below the life-force, more than four times the risk of lower sperm count, and more than twice the risk of lower mobility spermatozoa.
He said that such "dose-response link to the workers, the environmental impact of bisphenol A was comparable to men in the general U.S. population.
Although the sample size of men who were exposed to low levels of BPA was not high, the feedback beween increased urinary BPA concentrations and decreased sperm count and total sperm count remained statistically significant, researchers say.
Urine BPA was not, however, related to the volume of sperm or abnormal sperm structure or form.
The finding adds to mounting pile of evidence questioning the security BPA, organic chemicals are widely used to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins, and are found in plastic containers, bottles, plates of food and beverage cans and in dental sealants. Earlier this month, Canada became the first country to declare BPA a toxic substance.
This is the third study, that Lee and his colleagues published recently in the effect of BPA in humans. First discovered that exposure to high levels of BPA in the workplace risk reduction in sexual function in men (Nov 09, Oxford Journals Human Reproduction), and the second found that an increasing number of BPA in the urine due to the deterioration of male sexual function (May 10, Journal of Andrology ).
Previous animal studies have shown a link between BPA and adverse changes in male reproductive system in mice and rats.
Some researchers believe, BPA is the human endocrine disorders that interfere with hormones in male and female reproductive system.
This new research could fill a gap in the evidence that was missing in the discussions, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other government groups on this controversial matter.
Lee said that these data may also indicate problems in the male reproductive system: sperm quality and male sexual dysfunction may be early signs of diseases that are difficult to study, such as cancer or diabetes, he added.
The study was funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
- Fertility and Infertility