Microplastics Detected In Human Testicles, Raising Fertility Concerns

A study by researchers at the University of New Mexico, led by Dr Xiaozhong "John" Yu, found microplastic in every human and canine testicle examined.

Microplastics Detected In Human Testicles, Raising Fertility Concerns

The study identified 12 types of microplastics, with polyethylene being most common.

A new study published in the journal Toxicological Sciences has found microplastics present in every human testicle examined. This concerning discovery adds to growing worries about the potential impact of plastic pollution on male fertility.

Researchers at the University of New Mexico analysed tissue samples from both dogs and humans and detected microplastics in all of them. The study highlights the "potential consequences for male fertility," prompting further investigation.

The research team led by Xiaozhong "John" Yu, MD, PhD, MPH, a professor in the UNM College of Nursing, reported finding 12 types of microplastics in 47 canines and 23 human testes.

"Our study revealed the presence of microplastics in all human and canine testes," Yu said.

"He said, 'Have you considered why there is this decline (in reproductive potential) more recently? There must be something new,'" Yu said. That led Yu to design a study using the same experimental method Campen's lab had used in the placenta research.

The most common type of plastic found was polyethylene, which is commonly used in plastic bags and bottles. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) was also identified.

"At the beginning, I doubted whether microplastics could penetrate the reproductive system," Yu said. "When I first received the results for dogs I was surprised. I was even more surprised when I received the results for humans."

This research adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that microplastics are pervasive in our environment, reaching even the most sensitive areas of the human body. Further studies are needed to determine the exact effects of microplastics on male fertility, but this discovery raises a significant public health concern.