Have you noticed how many couples are struggling to have children? Has your doctor ever mentioned that there appear to be more cases of male impotence in younger men?
Considerable research has been conducted in recent years and it has found that the decline in fertility for couples included those of all ages, not just those who were trying to have children later in life.
The causes of fertility and impotence issues are many and include lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise. Another significant contributor, however, is believed to be exposure to chemicals in the environment and in the food we eat. Studies have indicated a potential association between these exposures and adverse reproductive outcomes in both men and women.
The fertility decline has become so bad that sperm counts among men in Western countries have plummeted by 50 per cent over the past 40 years. More recent research suggests the situation is getting worse, with sperm counts worldwide declining by 2.64 per cent each year. If nothing changes, we could be on course for an infertile world by 2045.
A group of chemicals of particular concern are called endocrine disrupting chemicals or EDCs. These chemicals can negatively impact your hormones, which affect everything from blood sugar, blood pressure, growth, sexual development, fertility, sex drive, metabolism and even sleep. We can be exposed to EDCs through the air we breathe, skin exposures, and also in the food we eat and liquids we drink.
The good news is that we can easily reduce our exposure to EDCs. Among other sources, EDCs are found in plastics. This is why Beyond Plastic Bermuda has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of single-use plastic, especially to the health of men and boys.
The changes can be easy to make. For starters, stop buying cooked food or drink packaged in single-use plastic. For food, use a reusable food container. For drinks, use a reusable water bottle or reusable coffee cup. These can be left in your office, truck, other place of work or taken around with you in a reusable bag. Our children do this every day when they go to school. We can do this every day when we go to work.
Why would reducing our use of single-use plastic make such a difference?