Microplastics found in every semen test sample in study

Sex! Semen!

And now that I have your attention, microplastics! Semen!

Hormone distruption, reduced sperm count, sperm abnormalities… the future of human reproductive health is looking grim, and it's likely due to microplastics. We eat them, we drink them, we breath them in. Tiny particles of polystyrene, polyethylene and PVC have been found everywhere from Mount Everest to fossils, to blood to, yes, regrettably, the ballsack.

The 40 semen samples were from healthy men undergoing premarital health assessments in Jinan, China. Another recent study found microplastics in the semen of six out of 10 healthy young men in Italy, and another study in China found the pollutants in half of 25 samples.

Recent studies in mice have reported that microplastics reduced sperm count and caused abnormalities and hormone disruption.

Research on microplastics and human health is moving quickly and scientists appear to be finding the contaminants everywhere. The pollutants were found in all 23 human testicle samples tested in a study published in May.

[…]The particles may be causing inflammation in tissue, as air pollution particles do, or the chemicals in the plastics could cause harm. In March, doctors warned of potentially life-threatening effects after finding a substantially raised risk of stroke, heart attack and earlier death in people whose blood vessels were contaminated with microscopic plastics.

Damian Carrington, The Guardian

Is protecting a banana from the elements with plastic worth the decline in seminal quality all the world over? No, and 180 countries agree, it's time to chill out on the polystyrene. Otherwise, I'm inclined to imagine a bleak dystopia for human reproductive health.