Scientists fear link between male sterility and pollutants

Medical researchers believe that there is a link between the rising trend of male reproductive disorders and environmental exposure to chemicals such as detergent breakdown products and organochlorines. The scientists say that compounds which mimic female hormones could damage reproductive tissue in male foetuses, causing developmental abnormalities and lower sperm counts in adulthood.

Studies in many western countries have shown an alarming decrease in men's average sperm count and an increase in testicular cancers and abnormalities such as undescended testes. In the UK, the incidence of testicular cancer has more than doubled since 1964, and the proportion of men with high sperm counts has declined from 50% in the 1930s to only 15% in the 1980s.

Researchers believe that environmental rather than genetic factors are

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