Scientists in the United Kingdom (UK) said there has been a 50 per cent global reduction in sperm quality of humans and dogs, linking the development to two man-made chemicals.
According to the findings of a new study published in ‘Scientific Reports,’ one of the common chemicals blamed for reducing sperm quality is plasticiser DEHP, which is commonly found in carpets, flooring, clothes and toys, and which can leach into food and drink.
The other chemical, polychlorinated biphenyl 153 (PB153) belongs to a group of industrial chemicals found to be persistent organic pollutants in the 1960s and 70s.
Based on the findings in the quality of dog’s sperm, a team at the University of Nottingham, in 2016, found that sperm quality had also taken a plummet in domestic dogs over the course of several decades.
Unlike the research on humans, this time the scientists could trace back the sperm quality decrease to the dangerous chemicals in the dogs’
environment and food, thereby raising the curiosity of the team that there could be something in the shared environment of dogs and humans that was to blame for this.
The team subsequently identified the two humanmade chemicals, commonly found in homes and diets, that had the same adverse effects on both human sperm and dog sperm.
“This new study supports our theory that the domestic dog is indeed a ‘sentinel’ or mirror for human male reproductive decline,” said Richard Lea, a reproductive biologist at the University of Nottingham.
They analysed sperm samples from 11 men and nine dogs in the same region, testing the effects of two human-made chemicals.
Using the sperm samples and these two chemicals at concentration levels that are commonly found in our current environments, the researchers carried out identical experiments for the men and the dogs with both chemicals and the effect was reduced sperm motility and increased fragmentation of DNA.