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Microplastics ‘pervasive’ in human testicles: new study

A new study has found a “widespread” presence of microplastics in the testicles of humans and dogs.

research, Released last week A study published in the Oxford Academic Journal found that all 47 dog testicles and 23 human testicles tested contained microplastics.

The findings suggest potential implications for male fertility.

Although microplastic debris has not yet been extensively studied, researchers have found it to be present in many parts of the body.

Dr. John Yu, a toxicologist at the University of New Mexico’s College of Nursing, is the study’s lead author. He told NPR Quantifying microplastics is the first step in understanding the potential negative impacts of their ubiquitous presence.

Researchers at Yu’s university in New Mexico autopsied people ranging in age from 16 to 188 years old, and harvested testicles from about 50 neutered dogs.

Yu said dogs were chosen as subjects for the experiment because they are deeply rooted in the human environment and can act as “sentinel” animals for diseases and chemical exposure.

The researchers broke down the biological material, and about 75 percent of what remained in their samples was plastic — mostly polyethylene, a type of plastic used in packaging, bags, and many other products.

At least in dogs, there was a correlation between reduced sperm counts and the presence of polyvinyl chloride in PVC piping.

Yu told NPR that while the results are “concerning,” he hopes it will lead to more targeted research into the relationship between sperm and microplastics.

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