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Why sperm count in men drops

A new study has revealed that sperm count in men drops when the ozone level in the air increases.

tabloid Updated: Mar 25, 2006 20:24 IST

A new study has revealed that sperm count in men drops when the ozone level in the air increases.

Rebecca Sokol and her colleagues at the University of Southern California looked at the sperm counts of 48 men who donated at least 10 times in two years to a Los Angeles sperm bank, and found that increased ozone levels resulted in decreased sperm counts. The results appear in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Using measurements from the area where each lived, the team estimated the amount of air pollutants they were exposed to before each donation. vOzone was the only pollutant linked to decreased sperm production while carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides did not have any effect on the count.

Ozone cannot reach the testicles directly but Sokol, suggests that it may cause an inflammatory response or produce toxic substances in the blood that damage sperm, reports New Scientist magazine.

The researchers plan to now test men whose count is already low.