Is significant drop in male sperm counts related to contraceptives filtering into water supply?

Is significant drop in male sperm counts related to contraceptives filtering into water supply?
Image: Calek via Shutterstock

[Ed. – Apparently there’s quite a bit on this, and the EPA has for many years delayed taking it seriously.  The timeframes match up, with widespread use of the Pill starting about a decade before the sperm decline began to be observed, around 1973.  U.S. government research indicates it’s affecting mammals as well as fish.  The chemicals involved enter the water supply through excretions from women who are taking oral contraceptives.]

Sperm counts have fallen an average of 1.2 percent each year, and the compounded effect of that has resulted in a more than 50% drop in sperm counts today.  CBS news reports that it follows a 1992 study that shows the exact same 50% decline, so nothing has changed in the rate of decline; it remains steady. …

The one factor the report doesn’t mention, but probably should, is the credible reports of artificial birth control getting into the water supply. …

The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Iain Murray has done significant research on the effects of birth control pills in the water supply, pointing out that its hormones released into the water supply, which can’t be filtered out, are creating “intersex” characteristics and sterility in the fish supply.  Fish exhibit sexual characteristics of both species due to estrogen contamination and cannot reproduce.  Scientific American has noted that despite the claims that the amounts present are small, the presence of them has harmed wildlife in the water supply.

Writing in 2008, Murray noted:

As I demonstrate in The Really Inconvenient Truths, by any standard typically used by environmentalists, the pill is a pollutant. It does the same thing, just worse, as other chemicals they call pollution. But liberals have gone to extraordinary lengths in order to stop consideration of contraceptive estrogen as a pollutant.

When Bill Clinton’s Environmental Protection Agency launched its program to screen environmental estrogens (a program required under the Food Quality Protection Act), the committee postponed considering impacts from contraceptives. Instead, it has decided to screen and test only “pesticide chemicals, commercial chemicals, and environmental contaminants.”

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