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Microplastics Have Been Found In Human Testes, According To Research

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Microplastic pollution was found in all 23 human testes examined by scientists, as well as 47 testes from pet dogs. Photograph: David Kelly/University of Queensland

(CTN News) – Researchers have proposed a possible explanation for the finding of microplastics in human genitalia: a likely correlation with the reduction in spermatogenesis observed in males.

The researchers examined 23 tests from humans and 47 tests from companion dogs in all. Each and every sample tested positive for microplastic contamination.

It was unable to determine how many sperm were there despite the fact that the human genitalia were preserved. However, it was possible to count the sperm in the dog testicles, and it was shown that the quantity of sperm was lower in samples with higher levels of PVC contamination.

Even though the study shows a correlation between the two, more investigation is required to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that microplastics lower sperm counts.

Over several decades, a number of studies have linked the decline in male sperm counts to the persistence of chemical contamination, including pesticide use. Evidence of the high level of contamination in human bodies comes from recent discoveries that microplastics have been detected in human blood, placentas, and breast milk.

Even though microplastics’ potential health impacts are still unclear,

Laboratory testing has demonstrated that they harm human cells. The environment is now contaminated with microplastics due to the enormous amounts of plastic waste that are thrown into the environment. From the ocean’s depths to Mount Everest’s height, this contamination has spread.

It is acknowledged that people are capable of both inhaling and ingesting these little particles through food and drink.

The particles have the same capacity to ingrain themselves into tissue and induce inflammation as do air pollution particles. On the other hand, the plastics could include substances that are bad for the health.

Research has demonstrated that there is a noteworthy correlation between the presence of microscopic plastics in blood vessels and an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and premature death in those affected. Medical experts issued a warning in March about the potentially disastrous consequences of this discovery.

Professor Xiaozhong Yu of the University of New Mexico in the United States of America stated, “At first, I had some doubts about the ability of microplastics to enter the reproductive system.” “I was taken aback upon initial receipt of the results pertaining to canines.” I was shocked even more than I had been before the results for the human volunteers were released.

Male testicles that were collected in 2016 were used as postmortem specimens for the inquiry. The deceased persons’ ages varied from sixteen to eighty-eight. Considering the staggering amount of plastic pollution that has afflicted the ecosystem, Yu states that “The impact on the younger generation may be more concerning”.

Toxicological Microplastics Sciences published the study, which found that

Entailed analyzing the plastic residue that remained after tissue samples were broken down. The dogs’ testicles were acquired from veterinarian offices with expertise in animal neutering.

The amount of plastic in human genitalia was found to be three times higher than that of plastic in canine testes. Canine testes had 123 micrograms per gram of tissue, while human genitalia contained 330 micrograms per gram.

Polyethylene, which is used to make plastic bottles and containers, was the microplastic most frequently discovered. The second most common type of microplastic discovered was PVC.

“PVC contains chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system and can release a variety of chemicals that inhibit spermatogenesis,” Yu continued to clarify. The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator had regularly collected the human testes, and even after the customary seven-year storage period had elapsed, they remained available for use. Usually, the specimens are disposed of after this time.

Thirty human sperm samples and six human testicle samples were found to have microplastics in a more restricted trial conducted in China in 2023. A recent study on rodents has demonstrated that microplastics produce anomalies and disruptions to the hormone system, as well as a decrease in the amount of sperm.


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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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