Low sperm counts? Report fails to mention birth control in water supplies

A study has found that male sperm counts have plunged since 1973, citing the evidence found in a large number of studies.  Scientists say a continuation of this trend could mean the human race will go extinct.

A team of scientists is sounding the alarm about declining sperm counts among men in the Western world.

As Hagai Levine, the lead author of a recently published study, told the BBC, "If we will not change the ways that we are living and the environment and the chemicals that we are exposed to, I am very worried about what will happen in the future."

He added, "Eventually we may have a problem, and with reproduction in general, and it may be the extinction of the human species."

Sperm counts have fallen an average of 1.2 percent each year, and the compounded effect of that has resulted in a more than 50% drop in sperm counts today.  CBS news reports that it follows a 1992 study that shows the exact same 50% decline, so nothing has changed in the rate of decline; it remains steady.

Sperm concentration decreased an average 52 percent between 1973 and 2011, while total sperm count declined by 59 percent during that period, researchers concluded after combining data from 185 studies. The research involved nearly 43,000 men in all.

"We found that sperm counts and concentrations have declined significantly and are continuing to decline in men from Western countries," said senior researcher Shanna Swan.

The effect of estrogenic compounds in the water supply from industry, agriculture, and other sources raises concerns about human health and deserves scrutiny.

The one factor the report doesn't mention, but probably should, is the credible reports of artificial birth control getting into the water supply.

This is not the Catholic Church's argument against contraception going on here – the Catholic Church opposes artificial contraception because it interferes with the natural male-female relationship in marriage and discourages its use.  This is something entirely different: whether one person's right to "control her own body" entitles her to damage the reproductive system of another person's body.  Ultimately, it is a question of whether a man has a right to control his own body, too.  This is deep libertarian territory.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute's Iain Murray has done significant research on the effects of birth control pills in the water supply, pointing out that its hormones released into the water supply, which can't be filtered out, are creating "intersex" characteristics and sterility in the fish supply.  Fish exhibit sexual characteristics of both species due to estrogen contamination and cannot reproduce.  Scientific American has noted that despite the claims that the amounts present are small, the presence of them has harmed wildlife in the water supply.  Might be canaries in the coal mine for us.

Writing in 2008, Murray noted:

As I demonstrate in The Really Inconvenient Truths, by any standard typically used by environmentalists, the pill is a pollutant. It does the same thing, just worse, as other chemicals they call pollution. But liberals have gone to extraordinary lengths in order to stop consideration of contraceptive estrogen as a pollutant.

When Bill Clinton's Environmental Protection Agency launched its program to screen environmental estrogens (a program required under the Food Quality Protection Act), the committee postponed considering impacts from contraceptives. Instead, it has decided to screen and test only "pesticide chemicals, commercial chemicals, and environmental contaminants." When and if it considers the impacts from oral contraceptives, the Agency says that its consideration will be limited because pharmaceutical regulation is a Food and Drug Administration concern.

As a result, the EPA's program will focus all energies on the smallest-possible part of endocrine exposure in the environment and the lowest-risk area.

The U.S. Geological Survey has found problems, too.

A recent report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found that birth-control hormones excreted by women, flushed into waterways and eventually into drinking water can also impact fish fertility up to three generations after exposure – raising questions about their effects on humans, who are consuming the drugs without even knowing it in each glass of water they drink.

The survey, published in March in the journal Scientific Reports, looked at the impact of the synthetic hormone 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), an ingredient of most contraceptive pills, in the water of Japanese medaka fish during the first week of their development.

While the exposed fish and their immediate offspring appeared unaffected, the second generation of fish struggled to fertilize eggs – with a 30% reduction in fertilization rates – and their embryos were less likely to survive. Even the third generation of fish had 20% impaired fertility and survival rates, though they were never directly exposed to the hormone.

The article states that there have been problems in mammals, too.

The Vatican, too, has spoken out about the environmental damage of artificial birth control going unfiltered into the water supply, specifically linking it to male infertility. Agence France-Presse reports:

The contraceptive pill is polluting the environment and is in part responsible for male infertility, a report in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano said Saturday.

The contraceptive pill is polluting the environment and is in part responsible for male infertility, a report in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano said Saturday.

The pill "has for some years had devastating effects on the environment by releasing tonnes of hormones into nature" through female urine, said Pedro Jose Maria Simon Castellvi, president of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, in the report.

"We have sufficient evidence to state that a non-negligible cause of male infertility in the West is the environmental pollution caused by the pill," he said, without elaborating further.

"We are faced with a clear anti-environmental effect which demands more explanation on the part of the manufacturers," added Castellvi.

The blame cannot be laid on individuals who are attempting to do something they believe is responsible and useful and who have no intent to harm others.  Nobody here is calling for the pill's prohibition in a free society, where people of all religions should be free to make their own choices.

There should be reason, however, to look into whether birth control is affecting the water supply and contributing to this species-threatening low sperm count matter.  The science does show that compounds excreted by users are impossible to filter from the water supply, and there are credible reports as to this affecting male fertility.

I would add that the span of years coincides with the rise of birth control pills, and it also coincides with the nations that use it.

A pro-contraception trade group, the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, has admitted in a long editorial that there could be a problem, even as it tries to exculpate its industry, citing other possibilities.

The effect of estrogenic compounds in the water supply from industry, agriculture, and other sources raises concerns about human health and deserves scrutiny.

But all we see blamed in this and other editorials are "pesticide chemicals, commercial chemicals, and environmental contaminants," as National Review's article notes.

Seriously, why?  Why not investigate everything and, if there is a problem found, find new ways to filter out the pollutants from the water supply?  For all the global warmers' alarmed claims about the threat to the species, here is a real threat, it's moving fast, and nothing effective is being done about it.

A study has found that male sperm counts have plunged since 1973, citing the evidence found in a large number of studies.  Scientists say a continuation of this trend could mean the human race will go extinct.

A team of scientists is sounding the alarm about declining sperm counts among men in the Western world.

As Hagai Levine, the lead author of a recently published study, told the BBC, "If we will not change the ways that we are living and the environment and the chemicals that we are exposed to, I am very worried about what will happen in the future."

He added, "Eventually we may have a problem, and with reproduction in general, and it may be the extinction of the human species."

Sperm counts have fallen an average of 1.2 percent each year, and the compounded effect of that has resulted in a more than 50% drop in sperm counts today.  CBS news reports that it follows a 1992 study that shows the exact same 50% decline, so nothing has changed in the rate of decline; it remains steady.

Sperm concentration decreased an average 52 percent between 1973 and 2011, while total sperm count declined by 59 percent during that period, researchers concluded after combining data from 185 studies. The research involved nearly 43,000 men in all.

"We found that sperm counts and concentrations have declined significantly and are continuing to decline in men from Western countries," said senior researcher Shanna Swan.

The effect of estrogenic compounds in the water supply from industry, agriculture, and other sources raises concerns about human health and deserves scrutiny.

The one factor the report doesn't mention, but probably should, is the credible reports of artificial birth control getting into the water supply.

This is not the Catholic Church's argument against contraception going on here – the Catholic Church opposes artificial contraception because it interferes with the natural male-female relationship in marriage and discourages its use.  This is something entirely different: whether one person's right to "control her own body" entitles her to damage the reproductive system of another person's body.  Ultimately, it is a question of whether a man has a right to control his own body, too.  This is deep libertarian territory.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute's Iain Murray has done significant research on the effects of birth control pills in the water supply, pointing out that its hormones released into the water supply, which can't be filtered out, are creating "intersex" characteristics and sterility in the fish supply.  Fish exhibit sexual characteristics of both species due to estrogen contamination and cannot reproduce.  Scientific American has noted that despite the claims that the amounts present are small, the presence of them has harmed wildlife in the water supply.  Might be canaries in the coal mine for us.

Writing in 2008, Murray noted:

As I demonstrate in The Really Inconvenient Truths, by any standard typically used by environmentalists, the pill is a pollutant. It does the same thing, just worse, as other chemicals they call pollution. But liberals have gone to extraordinary lengths in order to stop consideration of contraceptive estrogen as a pollutant.

When Bill Clinton's Environmental Protection Agency launched its program to screen environmental estrogens (a program required under the Food Quality Protection Act), the committee postponed considering impacts from contraceptives. Instead, it has decided to screen and test only "pesticide chemicals, commercial chemicals, and environmental contaminants." When and if it considers the impacts from oral contraceptives, the Agency says that its consideration will be limited because pharmaceutical regulation is a Food and Drug Administration concern.

As a result, the EPA's program will focus all energies on the smallest-possible part of endocrine exposure in the environment and the lowest-risk area.

The U.S. Geological Survey has found problems, too.

A recent report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found that birth-control hormones excreted by women, flushed into waterways and eventually into drinking water can also impact fish fertility up to three generations after exposure – raising questions about their effects on humans, who are consuming the drugs without even knowing it in each glass of water they drink.

The survey, published in March in the journal Scientific Reports, looked at the impact of the synthetic hormone 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), an ingredient of most contraceptive pills, in the water of Japanese medaka fish during the first week of their development.

While the exposed fish and their immediate offspring appeared unaffected, the second generation of fish struggled to fertilize eggs – with a 30% reduction in fertilization rates – and their embryos were less likely to survive. Even the third generation of fish had 20% impaired fertility and survival rates, though they were never directly exposed to the hormone.

The article states that there have been problems in mammals, too.

The Vatican, too, has spoken out about the environmental damage of artificial birth control going unfiltered into the water supply, specifically linking it to male infertility. Agence France-Presse reports:

The contraceptive pill is polluting the environment and is in part responsible for male infertility, a report in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano said Saturday.

The contraceptive pill is polluting the environment and is in part responsible for male infertility, a report in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano said Saturday.

The pill "has for some years had devastating effects on the environment by releasing tonnes of hormones into nature" through female urine, said Pedro Jose Maria Simon Castellvi, president of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, in the report.

"We have sufficient evidence to state that a non-negligible cause of male infertility in the West is the environmental pollution caused by the pill," he said, without elaborating further.

"We are faced with a clear anti-environmental effect which demands more explanation on the part of the manufacturers," added Castellvi.

The blame cannot be laid on individuals who are attempting to do something they believe is responsible and useful and who have no intent to harm others.  Nobody here is calling for the pill's prohibition in a free society, where people of all religions should be free to make their own choices.

There should be reason, however, to look into whether birth control is affecting the water supply and contributing to this species-threatening low sperm count matter.  The science does show that compounds excreted by users are impossible to filter from the water supply, and there are credible reports as to this affecting male fertility.

I would add that the span of years coincides with the rise of birth control pills, and it also coincides with the nations that use it.

A pro-contraception trade group, the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, has admitted in a long editorial that there could be a problem, even as it tries to exculpate its industry, citing other possibilities.

The effect of estrogenic compounds in the water supply from industry, agriculture, and other sources raises concerns about human health and deserves scrutiny.

But all we see blamed in this and other editorials are "pesticide chemicals, commercial chemicals, and environmental contaminants," as National Review's article notes.

Seriously, why?  Why not investigate everything and, if there is a problem found, find new ways to filter out the pollutants from the water supply?  For all the global warmers' alarmed claims about the threat to the species, here is a real threat, it's moving fast, and nothing effective is being done about it.

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