Male infertility
For several decades, there has been substantial evidence that many of the chemicals used in our everyday products are harmful to our health. Recent studies have also shown these chemicals are likely to damage men’s ability to reproduce. These chemicals, known as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC), disrupt or interfere with our body's endocrine system including the estrogen, androgen and thyroid hormone systems. Any system in the body controlled by hormones can be damaged by these disruptors. Humans and animals depend on healthy endocrine systems to reproduce and develop normally. EDCs are found in plastics, fragrances, pesticides, the linings of food and beverage containers, fire retardants used in carpets and furniture, household cleaning, personal care products and many, many more. Health advocates say endocrine disruptors are now common throughout the world. For 40 years the industrial chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) has been used in the manufacture of plastic containers, and to coat the inside of food cans, bottle tops and water pipes. Research has shown that BPA can seep into food or beverages from containers that are lined with this chemical. Advocates are concerned over the possible health effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims the low level of BPA found in some foods is safe for consumption. However, following BPA bans by the European Union and Canada, the FDA also banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and infant formula packaging.

Besides BPA, nearly 800 other chemicals with known or potential endocrine-disrupting properties have been identified, but little human testing has been done to determine whether or not they pose a health risk. The EPA established the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program in 1998 but its results have been delayed for more than 15 years. EPA critics claim efforts by business and industry have been responsible for delaying this report. These entities would incur great expense if forced to find substitutes for the chemicals they use in our everyday products. Many children are also likely to have been harmed by EDCs since their developing brains and bodies are especially vulnerable to these disruptive chemicals. However, it is the way male fetuses form in the womb that makes men susceptible to genital birth defects. Scientists say a critical period of development is the transition from a fertilized egg into a fully formed infant. These defects include hypospadias and cryptorchidism, risk factors for low sperm quality and testicular cancer. Scientists in Europe, where this phenomenon is more prevalent than here, have coined the term “testicular dysgenesis syndrome” to describe men’s increasing rates of testicular cancer and low sperm counts. In a recent European study, researchers concluded that they are now 99% certain that endocrine disrupting chemicals substantially contribute to male infertility as well as many other health problems including attention deficit disorders, diabetes and obesity. Advocates say the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act has not been updated to include the chemicals used in everyday consumer products which have vastly changed in 40 years.

Pending Legislation:
S.821 - BPA in Food Packaging Right to Know Act

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Poll Opening Date
March 26, 2020
Poll Closing Date
April 1, 2020

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