Sunscreen and cosmetics could be killing men’s sperm, according to researchers who found that only one in four males has good fertility levels.
Experts in reproduction said chemicals and the trappings of modern life appeared to be damaging men’s chances of having a family.
Research found that just 25 percent of young men were producing good quality sperm, and the average volume had declined by a quarter since the 1940s. The findings, presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology’s annual meeting in Lisbon, prompted warnings from doctors that consumer lifestyles may have created a toxic environment for men.
研究发现，只有25%年轻男性的精子是优质的，其平均值与19世纪40年代的相比下降了25%。该研究结果在里斯本举行的欧洲社会人类生殖与胚胎学会（European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology）年度会议上发表。医生们提醒大家，可能是消费者生活方式损害了男性的精子质量。
Dr Niels Jorgensen, a consultant at the Department of Growth and Reproduction at Rigshospitalet, in Copenhagen, said thousands of chemicals found in bathrooms and kitchens were likely to be to blame for the changes.
“Modern life is having an impact because we are exposed to so many chemicals and we don’t know what they do,” he said. Chemicals found in sun cream, cosmetics, frying pans, cars, foods and even in items of clothing could all increase risks to sperm, he suggested.
His 15-year study of almost 5,000 Danish men, with an average age of 19, found that 15 percent had very poor quality sperm, which meant they were likely to need some sort of fertility help.
A further 27 percent could expect a prolonged wait to father children. Just 25 percent had good quality semen, while the remainder had a lower standard. Dr Jorgensen said there was growing evidence from animal studies to suggest that many chemicals disrupt and inhibit the production of testosterone. He expressed particular concern about lotions such as sunscreen.
“We are advised to protect ourselves with these sunblocks but it seems when you go to the laboratory and test some of these chemicals they can interfere with the sperm function,” he said.
“If I was to advise my own family I would say don’t use it.”
Prof Richard Sharpe, of the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health at Edinburgh University, said he did not believe that chemicals were behind the drop in sperm counts, but said more research was needed to establish the reason.
Dr Chris Flower, of the Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association, said: “We can state categorically that cosmetic products are required by strict European laws to be safe. The industry and the regulators are aware of concerns regarding possible endocrine effects and if such a risk was present from cosmetic products, action would already have taken place to deal with it.”
化妆品盥洗用品和香水协会（Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association）的成员克里斯·弗劳尔（Chris Flower）博士说：“我们能理直气壮地说，化妆产品的安全性都是符合欧洲严格的法律。整个行业及其监管者都非常警惕化妆品对内分泌的潜在影响，而如果该影响真的存在于化妆产品中，相关应对措施应该早就出台了。”
（英文来源：每日电讯报 译者：李瑞玲SCNU 编辑：许晶晶，侯玮萍）