It took a lot of balls to bring you this story about microplastics Making a home in Men’s testicles

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Think all this microplastics stuff is overblown? Well, you’re wrong — they’re in the ocean. In your bottle of spring water. In your cosmetics. In fish. In cattle.

But in your testicles? Sorry, but yes. That’s the word in a study published in the journal Toxicological Sciences found that all of 23 human testes tested (and those of 47 pet dogs) contained microplastic pollution.

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“At the beginning, I doubted whether microplastics could penetrate the reproductive system,” said Prof. Xiaozhong Yu of the University of New Mexico, one of the researchers. “When I first received the results for dogs I was surprised. I was even more surprised when I received the results for humans.”

The human samples were obtained from postmortems in 2016, with the men ranging in age from 16 to 88 when they died. The dogs’ testes came from veterinarians who had conducted neutering operations.

OK, but what’s the problem with a tiny amount of inert stuff jingling in your genitals? Well, say the scientists, it could be at least one of the reasons why men overall are experiencing a declining sperm count.

That’s if the effect is the same in dogs as in dudes, because the human testicles had been preserved and so their sperm count could not be measured; however, the sperm count in the dogs’ testes could be assessed and was lower in samples with higher PVC contamination, though further research is need to prove a direct correlation.

And it could be getting worse. “The impact on the younger generation might be more concerning” now that there is more plastic than ever in the environment, Yu said.

With sperm counts in men having been falling for decades, chemical pollution, such as pesticides, has been pointed to by many studies. And with microplastics having been shown to cause damage to human cells in the laboratory, it could be a double whammy.

Gents: It may be time to ditch the bottled water.

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