“Let’s begin with sex.As a couple finishes its business, millions of sperm begin theirs: rushing toward an egg to fertilize it. But these days, scientists say, an increasing proportion of sperm — now about 90 percent in a typical young man — are misshapen, sometimes with two heads or two tails.
Even when properly shaped, today’s sperm are often pathetic swimmers, veering like drunks or paddling crazily in circles. Sperm counts also appear to have dropped sharply in the last 75 years, in ways that affect our ability to reproduce.
“There’s been a decrease not only in sperm numbers, but also in their quality and swimming capacity, their ability to deliver the goods,” said Shanna Swan, an epidemiologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who notes that researchers have also linked semen problems to shorter life expectancy.”
“Human and animal studies suggest that a crucial culprit is a common class of chemical called endocrine disruptors, found in plastics, cosmetics, couches, pesticides and countless other products. Because of the environmental links, The New Yorker once elegantly referred to the crisis as “silent sperm,” and innumerable studies over 25 years add to the concern that the world’s sperm are in trouble.”
David Lindsay Hamden, CT Pending Approval
Very troubling. Thank you Nicholas Kristof.
As an environmentalist, deeply concerned with overpopulation, climate change and the sixth extinction, this new information adds fuel to the fire. I recommend Dan Brown’s new novel, “Inferno,” for a fun introduction into the serious issues of overpopulation. Edward O Wilson, the Harvard entomologist, has written that in the next 80 years we will likely lose 80% of the world’s species. I wonder why this isn’t front page news everyday.
Maybe chemically caused sick male sperm is the magic disease the earth needs, to save the world, and its thousands of species, from the Anthropocene. To drag the sick comedy further, perhaps we should support more endocrine disrupting chemicals, since as the crazed scientist in “Inferno” argues effectively, we have to get rid of about 4 billion humans, if we want to save life on this planet as we have know it. Real scientists are saying similar things.