New Book ‘Count Down’ Highlights How Toxic Chemicals in Plastic Harm Human Health & Fertility

A new book published today from leading environmental and reproductive epidemiologist Shanna Swan, Ph.D. shows how chemicals in our modern environment are negatively impacting human sexuality and fertility. The book is called Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race.

The book details a major study completed in 2017 by Swan and her team of researchers. The research showed that over the past four decades, sperm counts among men in Western countries have dropped by more than 50 percent. In addition, infant boys are developing more genital abnormalities; more girls are experiencing early puberty; and adult women appear to be suffering declining egg quality and more miscarriages.

Swan says the major culprit is a class of chemicals called endocrine disruptors, which mimic the body’s hormones. These endocrine disruptors are everywhere: plastics, shampoos, cosmetics, cushions, pesticides, canned foods and A.T.M. receipts.

Count Down reveals what Swan and other researchers have learned about how both lifestyle and chemical exposures are affecting our fertility, sexual development, and general health as a species, and how each of us can reduce our exposure. 

“In some ways, the sperm-count decline is akin to where global warming was 40 years ago,” Swan told The New York Times. “The climate crisis has been accepted — at least by most people — as a real threat. My hope is that the same will happen with the reproductive turmoil that’s upon us.”

Learn more in the upcoming Plastic Pollution Coalition webinar featuring Shanna Swan Ph.D. and Pete Myers, Ph.D. founder and Chief Scientist of Environmental Health Sciences, called “Will Humanity Survive Plastic Pollution? Toxic Impact of Plastics’ Chemicals on Fertility.” Register now. 

Read an excerpt from the book here. 

Watch the Plastic Pollution Coalition webinar on Human Health & Ocean Pollution. 

Join our global Coalition. 

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