Human penises are shrinking because of pollution, warns scientist
Dr Shanna Swan has found that chemicals called phthalates are causing human babies to be born with malformed genitals.
Penises are shrinking and genitals becoming malformed because of pollution, an environmental scientist has warned in a new book detailing the challenges facing human reproduction.
Dr Shanna Swan writes that humanity is facing an “existential crisis” in fertility rates as a result of phthalates, a chemical used when manufacturing plastics that impacts the hormone-producing endocrine system.
As a result of this pollution, a growing number of babies are being born with small penises, Dr Swan writes.
Her book, titled Count Down, examines “how our modern world is threatening sperm counts, altering male and female reproductive development, and imperilling the future of the human race”.
Dr Swan’s research began by examining phthalate syndrome, something observed in rats which found that when fetuses were exposed to the chemical they were likely to be born with shrunken genitals.
She discovered that male human babies who had been exposed to the phthalates in the womb had a shorter anogenital distance – something that correlated with penile volume.
The chemical has an industrial use in making plastics more flexible, but Dr Swan says it is being transmitted into toys and foods and subsequently harms human development.