New Delhi: Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has said that infertility is increasing among Indian men due to xenobiotics emanating from chemical industries.
According to a study conducted by doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), lifestyle factors like tight clothing, hot tub dips and long visits to the sauna, intensive gardening and farming resulting in pesticide exposure and increased obesity rates were major causes for the decreasing sperm count.
The sperm count of a normal Indian adult male stands at around 20 million per ml while around three decades ago, it was 60 million per ml.
Majority of the men who were diagnosed with infertility had more exposure to high temperature at their workplace.
The normal temperature of the testes is three degrees lesser than the core body temperature so the additional environmental heat increases the temperature of the scrotum, causing a negative effect on sperm production.
According to a researcher, over the past 50 years, expansion of the chemicals has resulted in the release of a plethora of xenobiotics into the environment leading to male infertility.
The abnormality either involved sex chromosomes or autosomes or micro deletions in the Y chromosome.
The Y chromosome harbours the gene critical for germ cell development and differentiation, without which a person will have no sperms or will have very low sperm count.
"The government has taken steps to curb environmental pollution to check this problem", Ghulam Nabi Azad said.