A scientist has warned that penises could be shrinking because of increasing rates of pollution during pregnancy.
Dr Shanna Swan has forged a career as a leading environmental and reproductive epidemiologist.
Some of Swan’s work has investigated the impact of pollution on reproductive organs, and she co-authored a 2017 study that investigated dramatic falls in sperm counts amongst western men.
It turns out that plastics could be having changing how babies develop and consequently the sexual organs of adults.
Swan believes that phthalates, a chemical commonly found in plastic, is responsible for changing how the hormone endocrine is produced and this is causing biological changes.
The doctor has stated that the chemical can change the make-up of breast milk and change how babies develop in the womb leading to lower IQs, premature birth and shockingly smaller penises.
The expert sat down with The Intercept to explain her findings, “Babies are now entering the world already contaminated with chemicals because of the substances they absorb in the womb.”
As a result, of four specific phthalates during the first trimester, a shorter anogenital distance (AGD) is likely to develop.
This means the distance between the middle of the anus and penis is smaller and this impacts the size of the genitalia.
Swan noted, “Nobody is going to like that term, so you could use taint or gooch instead. But basically it’s the distance between the anus and the beginning of the genitals. And scientists have recognised its importance for a long time.
“Our work has shown that chemicals, including the diethylhexyl phthalate, shorten the AGD in males.”