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"Air Pollution Fine Particles Linked To Poor Sperm Quality" – Shereen Lehman

  • Reuters
  • (December 11, 2017)

Exposure to fine particles in air pollution may be another factor that affects men’s sperm quality and their fertility, suggest researchers in Taiwan. Although the clinical effect may be small, the findings could be important from a public health perspective due to worldwide exposure to pollution. The primary finding of this study is a significant decrease in the percentage of sperm that are normally shaped with increasing air pollution, but the percentage of sperm that are morphologically normal is still very high, said Shanna Swan, PhD, professor of environmental medicine and public health, obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The change in sperm concentration is difficult to interpret, noted Dr. Swan, who wasn’t involved in the study. For one thing, the average sperm concentration in the participants was fairly low. “Strengths of the study are its large size, its use of cutting-edge estimates of air pollution and WHO semen analysis methods,” she said.

Shanna Swan, PhD, Professor, Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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