Bisphenol A, or BPA, as its close friends call it, is a chemical used to create plastics. It's included in a ton of great stuff—water bottles, tooth fillings, sports equipment—because it's cheap and shatterproof. It also kills sperm.
A new report by Kaiser Permanente says that elevated exposure to BPA makes men two to four times more likely to have less, worse sperm. And some of the sperm you do have will be dead. All of these things are not qualities you want your sperm to possess, if you are planning on populating the earth anytime soon (or ever). And, just in case you thought you were safe because you're not rolling around on the floor rubbing plastics across your face—everyone involved in the study was within the exposure levels the EPA has deemed safe. Thanks, EPA!
And it gets worse: scientists keep finding places where BPA is seeping into our systems. Canned foods! Receipts! Even if you think you're too good for canned beans, odds are you're handling at least a receipt or two every single day.
So what's the upshot? Well, if you're still got any sperm left, they might stand a chance, as major companies like Coca Cola are saying they'll ditch packaging that includes any BPA. In the meantime... I'm not really sure what to say. It's very, very hard to eliminate BPA from your life, given its ubiquity within everyday products. Unless you're living some sort of mountain hermit lifestyle, you'll have a hard time kicking the habit. But if the fact that these exposure levels are legal pisses you off—and it should—give your local EPA branch a call and ask, on behalf of your sperm (or the sperm of a loved one), what the hell, guys. [Grist]