Dicks are shrinking
An environmental scientist has warned in a new book detailing the challenges facing human reproduction.
Dr Shanna Swan writes that humanity is facing an "existential crisis" in fertility rates as a result of phthalates, a chemical used when manufacturing plastics that impacts the hormone-producing endocrine system.
Dr Swan's research began by examining phthalate syndrome, something observed in rats which found that when fetuses were exposed to the chemical they were likely to be born with shrunken genitals.
She discovered that male human babies who had been exposed to the phthalates in the womb had a shorter anogenital distance - something that correlated with penile volume.
The chemical has an industrial use in making plastics more flexible, but Dr Swan says it is being transmitted into toys and foods and subsequently harms human development.
Phathalates mimic the hormone oestrogen and thus disrupt the natural production of hormones in the human body, which researchers have linked to interference in sexual development in infants and behaviours in adults.
And just like that! The pollution problem will be solved quickly!