Citing a study linking pollution with shrinking penis sizes and babies born with deformed genitalia, Greta Thunberg tweeted Thursday asking people to attend her next climate strike.
In the study, Dr. Shanna Swan, a professor of environmental medicine and public health at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital, found that phthalates, chemical waste released when producing plastics, are responsible for low fertility rates of an “existential crisis” proportion, Sky News reported. With the rate that human fertility is dropping, Swan said, by 2045, most males will fail to produce sufficiently potent sperm.
“See you all at the next climate strike,” wrote the 18-year-old climate activist from Sweden, quoting the Sky News article on the study’s findings. (RELATED: US Fertility Rates Have Plummeted, And Anybody With Common Sense Knows Why)
See you all at the next climate strike:) https://t.co/4zgekg5gd0
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) March 25, 2021
After observing that fetuses of rats exposed to phthalates were born with shrunken sexual organs, Swan began her research on humans. Writing down her findings in her book Count Down, she noted that human male babies exposed to the chemicals while in the womb had a shorter anogenital distance, which has a co-relation with penis size, according to Sky News.
Despite having an industrial application in increasing plastics’ flexibility, phthalates threaten human development once transmitted into foodstuffs and toys, Swan stated, according to the outlet.
Since the 1970s, men in Western countries have seen their sperm counts decline by more than 50%, according to a 2017 paper that reviewed around 185 studies.
One of the scholars involved in the study had suggested that industrial pollution could be a factor behind the falling male fertility numbers since the sperm count drop was observed in Western countries and not other parts of the world, Healthline reported.