A controversial chemical used for decades in the mass production of food containers and baby bottles has been linked to male infertility for the first time.
Bisphenol-A (BPA), known as the “gender bending” chemical because of its connection to male impotence, has now been shown to decrease sperm mobility and quality.
The findings are likely to increase pressure on governments around the world to follow Canada and ban the substance from our shelves.
BPA is used widely to make plastic harder and watertight tin cans.
It is also used in baby bottles though this is slowly being phased out.
BPA has been the subject of intense research as it is a known endocrine disrupter which in large quantities interferes with the release of hormones.
Earlier studies have linked it to low sex drive, impotence and DNA damage in sperm.
Now a new five year study claims to have found a link between levels of BPA in the blood and male fertility.
For their study of 514 workers in factories in China, researchers at Kaiser Permanente, a California-based research centre, found that men with higher urine BPA levels were two to four times more at risk of having poor semen quality, including low sperm concentration, low sperm vitality and mobility.