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Chemicals found in household items are damaging the sperm of both men and their dogs, research has found.
Sperm quality in men has fallen by 50 per cent in the past 80 years.
Cent - Dogs
And, intriguingly, it has also been found to have fallen by 30 per cent in domestic dogs.
This has led researchers to believe the common factor damaging both species' fertility is living in the home environment.
Chemicals - DEHP - PCB - Levels - Humans
They found chemicals known as DEHP and PCB 153 are found in similar levels in humans and dogs – suggesting that, despite very different diets and activities, both are having their fertility damaged in the same way.
Researchers from the University of Nottingham have tested the effects of the two chemicals on sperm count and quality of men and dogs.
PCB - UK - Europe - Time - Environment
PCB was banned in the UK and Europe in 2004 but it lasts a long time in the environment and can be found in fatty foods.
DEHP, full name diethylhexyl phthalate, is found in many items containing plastic, including carpets, flooring, furniture, clothes and toys.
Scientists - Effects - **** - Lab - Concentrations
Scientists tested the effects on **** in a lab using concentrations of the chemicals found in human and dogs – and found that they led sperm quality to decline.
Sperm had reduced motility – they were less able to swim – and also showed more signs of DNA damage.
Chemicals - Effects - Sex - Hormone - Oestrogen
The chemicals have similar effects to the female sex hormone, oestrogen, meaning they cause problems during sperm production – a testosterone-led process.
Professor Richard Lea said: 'This new study supports our theory that the domestic dog is indeed a 'sentinel' or mirror for human male reproductive decline.
Findings - Chemicals - Home - Environment - Fall
'And our findings suggest that man-made chemicals that have been widely used in the home and working environment may be responsible for the fall in sperm quality reported in both man and dog that share the same environment.
'Our previous study...
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