Published in: Legalbrief Environmental
Date: Tue 22 June 2010
Issue No: 0168
The Cape Argus notes that there is growing concern that environmental pollution may be behind increasing male infertility.
The Southern African Society for Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy is compiling data from all the fertility clinics throughout the country. Dr Klaus Wiswedel, of the Cape Fertility Clinic, said they were seeing 1 200 to 1 500 male patients a year. A list of harmful pollutants that carried a risk for sperm production included an increase of lead and toxic fumes in the atmosphere, xeno-oestrogens (female hormones of plant origin) in factory-produced meats and chicken, plus an increase in the use of pesticides such as organophosphates (most of which are outlawed globally but still used here) and use of plastic wrappings. Puberty was another time when males were vulnerable to these environmental factors, the report quotes Wisdewel as saying.