SCIENTISTS LINK MALE INFERTILITY AND TESTICULAR CANCER TO DISPOSABLE
Disposable diapers raise the temperature of baby boys' reproductive organs, affecting their development, according to a scientific study done at the University of Kiel, reported in the British medical journal "Archives of Disease in Childhood".
The scientists who did the study had noticed that baby boys with a fever had very high scrotal temperatures if they were diapered in disposable diapers, and this led them to investigate whether baby boys with a normal body temperature, would also have a higher scrotal temperature. They studied a group of 48 boys, within a year's period, except for the hot months of July and August. They compared the boys' scrotal temperatures when they were in disposable diapers to the temperatures of the same boys when they were diapered in cotton diapers.
They state "exposure to increased temperature for prolonged duration during childhood as a result of the use of modern disposable plastic lined nappies [diapers] could be an important factor in the decline in semen quality and the increasing incidence of testicular cancer in adult age." They say that the physiological testicular cooling mechanism is significantly impaired during plastic nappy [diaper] use, (in 27% of the babies tested, the cooling mechanism was completely destroyed). This may have a negative long term effect on testicular maturation and spermatogenesis, and may facilitate the development of testicular cancer. And, because babies diapered in disposables often have a prolonged diapering period (especially now that there are plastic training pants and plastic bedwetting pants), the scientists state that the problem may be becoming more severe.
Tim Hedgley, the chairman of the National Fertility Association, said "This research is quite staggering and could be of immense importance to us." Statistics show that the average sperm count of the European male has dropped 25% in the last 25 years. About 27,000 British couples seek infertility treatment every year, an increase of 55% since 1995. One couple in six in Britain needs fertility treatment. In a third of those couples, the problem is with the male.
Dr. Simon Fishel, director of the Centre for Assisted Reproduction (Nottingham, England) said "The theory is quite sensible and I am not totally surprised by it. If by wearing a disposable nappy you raise the scrotal temperature of a baby boy then that is something to be concerned about."
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