Do we need to get a firm grip on this issue?

The new great Satan of the world, the not-so-fantastic plastic, is responsible for so much evil these days:

But even worse than any of that, there is a new terror striking fear into the hearts of all red-blooded males. Quote.

Plastics are shrinking penises.

Penises are shrinking, and more boys are being born with genital defects, two Melbourne scientists claim.

They think chemicals in plastics are to blame.

Their controversial stance is based on studies of animals exposed to the chemicals, as well as human data they say shows rates of hypospadia ? a penis birth defect causing a range of functionality problems ? have doubled in Australia.

?Exposure to these chemicals, this is the No.1 reproductive issue for men,? says Associate Professor Andrew Pask, who leads a lab at Melbourne University researching male reproduction.

However, government regulators say the best-available science shows these chemicals are not having an effect on humans. Other experts say a link is possible but that the evidence is a long way from settled.

Some plastics can release chemicals, known as endocrine disruptors, that can mimic human sex hormones. In animal studies, exposure when pregnant can have profound effects on an animal’s offspring, including infertility, undescended testes and hypospadia.

There is no strong evidence about what they do to humans.

But we all have observable levels in our blood because they are so common in everyday life. Dr Pask points to several chemicals that may have an effect on humans: BPA, phthalates (both used in plastics), parabens (used in toothpastes and beauty products) and atrazine (herbicide).?[…]

Pask also points to studies showing exposure to [endocrine disrupting chemicals] that mimic the female sex hormone oestrogen can shorten penis length. However there is no population-level data to back this claim. […]

Professor Peter Sly, director of the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Children?s Health at the University of Queensland, says there is strong evidence exposure to the chemicals reduces sperm count and quality, and could possibly be reducing penis size.

?There is a lot of evidence out there. There is human-level data.?

Associate Professor Frederic Leusch, a senior environmental scientist at Griffith University, says while there is no scientific consensus about the chemicals’ effect on humans, the evidence is clear in animals.

?We have clear, indubitable, mechanistic-linked evidence from animals this can happen. Humans are animals. And we know these chemicals are in our bodies. So it?s absolutely possible. But we still cannot be sure,? Dr Leusch says. […]

A Food Standards Australia New Zealand survey of BPA in foods concluded the average consumer?s exposure levels were far below safe limits.

?The weight of scientific evidence indicates that exposure to BPA in food does not present a significant human health and safety issue at current exposure levels,? the agency noted.[…] End of quote.

It may be true or it may be bollocks. Is there any hard evidence? After all, we don’t want to be shafted by shonky science dreamt up by a bunch of dicks. At least someone is honest enough to say the evidence is a long way from settled. Hopefully, one day, they will have a firm grip on the situation before it comes to a head and we all look like dip stick plonkers.

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