Sperm Re-count

Living on Earth

Five years ago a Danish research team reported in the British Medical Journal that sperm counts world-wide had fallen sharply since 1938. The team could not say what caused the change, but their study suggested that synthetic chemicals could be disrupting the human endocrine system. Skeptics of that theory declared the research flawed. Now, a new study, in the current issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, takes a second look at the sperm count controversy. Doctor Shanna Swann, chief of reproductive Epidemiology at California’s Department of Health Services was skeptical of the earlier study, but was tapped to head the re-analysis. Steve Curwood reached her at her home in Berkeley, California.

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