Chemicals in Sunscreen, Toothpaste and Toys Found to Damage Human Sperm and Prevent Fertilization

Thursday, May 15, 2014
(photo: Heal the Womb)

Many common consumer products contain chemicals that can lead to male infertility, European researchers say.


Sunscreen, toothpaste, toys, cosmetics, packaging for food and other goods include chemical additives that can harm sperm and prevent men from fathering children.

Scientists from the Center of Advanced European Studies and Research in Bonn, Germany, and the University Department of Growth and Reproduction, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark, found certain chemicals in widely sold products act as endocrine disruptors.


The researchers tested 96 substances and found about 30% of them disrupted the way sperm functioned and their ability to fertilize eggs. The problem is high calcium levels in the sperm, which causes poor swimming and early release of enzymes needed to break into an egg.


“This is really the first report on the direct effects of endocrine disruptors on sperm function,” Niels Skakkebaek at Copenhagen University Hospital told The Guardian. “The effects we see could explain these not-uncommon cases where people cannot have a child even if they are found to be normal by the usual examinations at fertility clinics.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Sperms’ Swimming and Navigational Skills Disrupted by Common Chemicals (by Ian Sample, The Guardian)

Endocrine Disruptors Impair Human Sperm Function (EMBO)

Direct Action of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals on Human Sperm (by Christian Schiffer, Astrid Müller, Dorte L. Egeberg, Luis Alvarez, Christoph Brenker, Anders Rehfeld, Hanne Frederiksen, Benjamin Wäschle, U. Benjamin Kaupp, Melanie Balbach, Dagmar Wachten, Niels E. Skakkebaek, Kristian Almstrup and Timo Strünker; EMBO Reports) (abstract)

Insecticide Chemicals Found in Two-Thirds of Americans and Homes Tested (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

18 Unregulated Chemicals Found in a Third of U.S. Water Utilities Tested (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

5,000 Children’s Products Contain Toxic or Dangerous Ingredients (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


Leave a comment