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PFAS chemicals can potentially cause male infertility and smaller penis size

Do not eat the fish because of pfas sign
Lester Graham
/
Michigan Radio
A sign warning people about elevated levels of PFAS chemicals in fish.

Two commonly found PFAS compounds can potentially cause male infertility, according to a recent study.

A study published last month in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that PFOA and PFOS, two of the most commonly found PFAS compounds, can lower sperm count and cause smaller penis size.

PFAS chemicals, which have been found at high levels in private drinking wells, groundwater and surface water across the state, are often used to make firefighting foam, waterproofing materials and nonstick cookware.

Nicola Pozzi, an assistant professor at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine who helped with the study, says PFAS chemicals can negatively affect testosterone.

“Testosterone is... incredibly important for sex-related functions such as development,” Pozzi said.

PFAS compounds have already been linked to kidney and testicular cancer, and thyroid and cholesterol issues.

Pozzi says PFAS impacts testosterone by competing for the same hormone receptors.

“And so basically, if you have a defect in, for instance, quality or mobility in the semen components, this may lead to infertility,” he said.

Pozzi says more studies should be done on how PFAS chemicals affect testosterone.

You can read more about the study on The Intercept.

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