In a recent study, a team of epidemiologists found that sperm counts among men in the United States, Europe and Australia have declined by more than 50 percent. Alongside the deleterious effects of cigarette smoke, especially during critical stages of prenatal development, the authors of the study point out that exposure to certain synthetic chemicals has been associated with decreased fertility.
With the efforts of scientists, activists and regulators, chemical products from the pesticide DDT to the all-purpose industrial materials PCBs to the plastics additive BPA, previously understood as unalloyed technological boons, were identified as hazards and partially or fully phased out of use. Yet even in the rare instances where chemicals are banned outright, they are often replaced by alternatives subsequently found to be just as worrisome. A vicious cycle. And its well time to seek out safer alternatives.
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