Scientists Are Warning That Pollution Is Shrinking Your Penis

Edward Cooper
·2-min read
Photo credit: Andrii Zastrozhnov - Getty Images
Photo credit: Andrii Zastrozhnov - Getty Images

It's not just about the climate, our food supply and energy resources — pollution could be affecting men's penis sizes, fertility and libido too.

That's according to environmental and reproductive epidemiologist Dr. Shanna H. Swan's new book Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race, which explores the correlation between smaller penises, lower sperm counts and the use of industrial chemicals in everyday products.

Having already co-authored a study on the West's falling sperm counts between 1973 and 2011, Dr. Swan's new book inspects how environmental chemicals could lead to low sperm counts, affect fertility rates — a modern man, she writes, may have half the sperm count of his grandfather —and penis shrinkage. "Chemicals in our environment and unhealthy lifestyle practices in our modern world are disrupting our hormonal balance, causing various degrees of reproductive havoc," she writes in the book, which also focuses on plummeting fertility rates. "In some parts of the world, the average twentysomething woman today is less fertile than her grandmother was at 35." (Continued below)

According to Dr. Swan, this "global existential crisis" is decreasing sperm counts and directly leads to shrinking penis sizes and the volume of testes. "The current state of reproductive affairs can’t continue much longer without threatening human survival," Dr Swan writes. "Of five possible criteria for what makes a species endangered, only one needs to be met; the current state of affairs for humans meets at least three."

Dr. Swan also explores how pollutants can affect our libido, explaining to The Intercept that "We found a relationship between women’s phthalate levels and their sexual satisfaction... researchers in China found that workers with higher levels of bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA, in their blood were more likely to have sexual problems, including decreased desire."

Let this be a little wake-up call to make your routine a little friendlier to the earth.

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