Washington, May 28 (IANS) Rising levels of an organic chemical, found in a wide variety of plastic consumer products, in urine causes decreased sexual drive, more difficulty in an erection, lower ejaculation strength and lower level of overall satisfaction with sex life, researchers said.
Bisphenol-A (BPA) is an ingredient in manufacturing polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins, and is now contained in consumer products from baby bottles, plastic containers, and the resin lining of cans for food and beverages, to dental sealants.
The five-year study, by non-profit health care organisation Kaiser Permanente, examined 427 workers in factories spread over four regions of China, comparing workers in BPA manufacturing facilities with a control group of workers in factories where no BPA was present.
In a previous related study, its researchers measured BPA exposure based on work history and environmental exposure in the workplace.
This new study measured urine BPA among participants and examined the correlation between their urine BPA level and their reported problems of sexual dysfunction.
‘This is the first human study to show that high urine BPA is associated with lower male sexual function,’ said De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente’s research division in Oakland, California, who led the study.
‘Also, even among men exposed to BPA from only environmental sources (no occupational exposure and with average BPA level lower than the average observed in the American population), there were indications of an increased risk of sexual dysfunction.’
Researchers observed a dose-response association between increasing urine BPA level and declining male sexual function, with this negative association consistent across all categories measuring male sexual dysfunction.
This study is the second part of Kaiser Permanente’s ongoing research to look at BPA’s reproductive effect in humans.
Both studies are the first to look at BPA’s reproductive effect in humans. The adverse effect of BPA on the male reproductive system previously had been examined in animal studies only.
Many participants provided urine samples that were tested for BPA concentration using high-performance liquid chromatography, said a Kaiser Permanente release.
Researchers explained that BPA is suspected from animal research to be a highly suspect human endocrine disrupter, likely affecting both male and female reproductive systems.
These findings were published online in the Journal of Andrology.