In utero exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals called phthalates may lead to a collection of disturbances in male reproductive development, such as smaller penis size, dubbed 'phthalate syndrome.' The effects may be causing declines in sperm count that threaten human fertility.
The Phthalate Syndrome Is Causing Mass Sterility
Sperm counts dropped by 59.3% from 1973 to 2011, possibly in large part due to exposure to environmental chemicals like phthalates
Sperm count, testosterone and fertility are dropping, and testicular cancer and miscarriage are rising, all at about 1% per year
Phthalate syndrome refers to a number of disturbances to male reproductive development that have been observed after exposure to phthalates in utero
Women’s exposure to phthalates during pregnancy is linked to male babies’ anogenital distance (AGD) — the distance from the anus to the base of the penis — with higher exposure associated with shortened AGD
Later in life, shorter AGD is linked with a smaller penis and poorer semen quality, such that Swan believes AGD at birth is predictive of adult reproductive function
Swan believes that humans, as a species, satisfy several of the criteria for endangerment and our species is threatened due to phthalates and other chemicals’ effects on fertility