an experiment carried out by Professor Neil Evans
from the University of
Glasgow that lasted a year long, 12 sheep were grazed on land on which human
wastes were applied. The mothers of these experimental sheep were also grazed
on the same land to ensure that the experimental sheep were exposed throughout
their life cycle. Twelve control sheep also participated in the experiment.
It was found that 42% of the animals studied
had low sperm counts
sheep were subjected to euthanasia and their testicles were studied. It was
found that 3 sheep had smaller sized testicles and that there was a reduction
in the sperm-producing germ cells in the testicular tissues
. The testes
of two other sheep looked normal but their sperm count was very low.
It was not
clear why only five sheep were affected out of the twelve studied. It was
assumed that the difference occurred either because of genetic factors
or the way they were exposed to chemicals.
chemicals are known to have deleterious effect on plant, animal and human life.
The study reveals that despite the concentration of single chemicals being low
in the environment, it is difficult to assess the health effects they have on
human life when they are combined with other chemicals.
studies conducted previously have revealed that every day chemicals
affect the health and reproduction, especially in young animals that are born
to mothers exposed to a mixture of these 'impacting' chemicals.
demand for in-vitro fertilization has increased like never before. According to
British -based Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA
5.9 per cent rise in IVF treatments has been reported between 2009 and 2010.
accounts for 40-50% of the total infertility cases. Smoking,
alcohol, doing drugs, mumps, obesity, certain medications and diseases are some
of the factors that affect male fertility. Exposure to environmental chemicals,
including detergents, cosmetics, and other pollutants are being listed among
other causative factors.
is another factor that is affecting fertility. Long hours at work, work-related
pressure and sexual abstinence is not only affecting man's ability to reproduce
but is negatively impacting his overall health.
The boom in technology and the
ubiquitous use of electronic devices have also adversely affected the
reproductive potential of many.