Oct. 28, 2010 (GreenAnswers Staff) – Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical which is commonly found in plastics and other consumer goods, has a damaging effect on the sexual health of men, according to a study recently conducted. The study, funded by the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health looked at factory workers in China who were exposed to high levels of BPA.
The study, which looked at 218 Chinese factory workers over a five year period, concluded that those workers with high BPA levels in their urine tended to have a drop in sperm concentration, overall sperm count, sperm vitality and sperm motility.
The potential health risks associated with BPA exposure have been receiving a lot of focus lately, with some studies indicating that exposure to the chemical at high doses can have widespread sexual and hormonal consequences.
The study’s lead author, Dr. De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research, said “Compared with men without detectable urine BPA, those with detectable urine BPA had more than three times the risk of lowered sperm concentration and lower sperm vitality, more than four times the risk of a lower sperm count, and more than twice the risk of lower sperm motility.”
In response to the study, Steven Hentges, the executive director of Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group with the American Chemistry Council, an industry trade group, stated that the study is “likely to have limited relevance to consumers.” Hentges explained, “This study is a little bit lean on details, but what’s clear is that it wasn’t designed to examine the potential effects of BPA on consumers.” “It focused on workers. And from what they report we can be sure that some workers were exposed to extraordinarily high amounts of BPA. Thousands of times higher than the average American.”