Sperm killers are everywhere. They saturate you in the shower, seep into your skin in the checkout line, and even ooze into the convenience food you grab on the fly. No matter the point of entry, many everyday chemicals are zapping sperm counts and even silently scrambling DNA sperm data for men all over the world. Some cause sperm mobility problems, leaving your swimmers not swimming so well.
You might already know that narrow bikes seats have been linked to erectile dysfunction, and maybe you've heard about the study connecting antidepressants to sperm DNA damage. But other everyday habits are acting as sperm slayers too. Once you understand the scope of harmful products on the market, it's easy to see why fertility clinics are packed with customers, both male and female. The good news is these everyday toxins are easier to sidestep than you may think.
1. Cash register receipts
Think how many times a day someone slips a cash register receipt into your hand: Your morning coffee, your gas fill-up, your stock-up trip to the grocery store, your dinner and a movie. The transactions are endless. The problem is, about 40 percent of receipts today are coated with the hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol-A (BPA), which has been linked to fertility problems and heart disease. A new study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility just discovered that men with higher BPA levels in their urine experienced low sperm counts and lower sperm quality than men with lower levels.
Protect yourself: While there's no direct evidence linking receipt handling to infertility, why take chances? Until electronic receipts become commonplace, say you don't want a receipt at the point of purchase. If you do need one, store it in an envelope or folder, not in a pocket or in the wallet you're constantly breaking open. Keep receipts out of the recycling bin, too; their BPA can contaminate water and recycled-paper products.
2. Canned food
Many researchers believe the biggest source of BPA contamination comes through food packaging. Sure, canned food is convenient, but almost all of those metal cans are coated with a BPA resin, which migrates into the food. Acidic canned products, such as tomato paste or sauces, are particularly saturated with BPA.
Protect yourself: Choose fresh or frozen food instead of canned whenever possible, and buy foods like pasta sauce sold in glass jars rather than cans.