BPA is an organic compound that is used to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin and is found in a wide variety of everyday items. Lately BPA was reported in 40% of the cash receipts used in various stores. Besides, BPA can be found in appliances and windshields; aluminum can linings; baby bottles, infant formula, sippy cups; eyeglasses; some dental sealants; water bottles; cars; and DVD and CD cases. Several researches have shown the side effects of BPA to humans. Animal studies have suggested reproductive health consequences from BPA, there have been limited human studies. The gap is filled by a recent study that shows exposure to BPA can harm sperm quality.
Science Daily pointed out that over six billion pounds of BPA is produced each year.
About the study
The study was conducted by John Meeker, assistant professor at the University of Michigan, School of Public; Russ Hauser, the Frederick Lee Hisaw Professor of Reproductive Physiology at Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Researchers examined the spot urine and sperm samples from 190 men provided by a fertility clinic. After a month 78 men provided “one or two additional urine samples. Researchers measured sperm concentration; sperm motility, sperm shape, and DNA damage in the sperm cell.
Results of the report
Compared with men who had the lowest levels of BPA (the bottom 25%), men with the highest levels (the top 25%) had, on average:
The researchers pointed out that the participants’ average BPA levels were lower than average levels in adult men in the US general population.
The paper, “Semen quality and sperm DNA damage in association with urinary Bisphenol A concentrations in men from an infertility clinic,” is available online. The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Reproductive Toxicology.
This is a small cross-sectional study with many potential limitations. The study design could not show cause and effect and lacked the comparison group of men who were not attending an infertility clinic. In my view studies with large sample size and having comparative group can investigate further this preliminary outcome of effect of BPA on male infertility in the near future. Having said that, BPA is harmful for human and it seems prudent to conduct further research for more substantiation.