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New test finds chemicals in some common products might damage sperm

Published on May 13, 2014 12:18 AM

PARIS (AFP) - German and Danish scientists on Monday said they had identified dozens of chemicals, including some used in hygiene and consumer products, that interfere with male fertility by damaging sperm.

Writing in the journal EMBO Reports, the team said a third of 96 compounds they tested using a new technique had an adverse effect on sperm.

The chemicals included 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC), which is an ultraviolet filter used in some sunscreens, and the anti-bacterial agent Triclosan, used in some kinds of toothpaste, they said.

Outside commentators praised the research but noted it was only carried out on sperm in a lab, a context far removed from the more complex environment of the human body.

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