Scientists believe that they have uncovered more evidence supporting the theory that declining male fertility is partially linked to the level of water contamination.
The study – conducted at Brunel University, the Universities of Exeter and Reading, and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in the UK – suggests that testosterone-blocking chemicals are increasingly present in British rivers, coming mainly from agricultural pesticides.
The scientists have determined that the chemicals are causing fertility problems in fish and are theorizing that the effects may also apply to humans.
Commenting on the outcome of the study, senior author professor Charles Tyler of the University of Exeter said that the hormonal disruption in fish comes from a wider range of the so-called anti-androgens which supports the theory of human-wildlife connection in this case.
He added, "There are likely to be many reasons behind the rise in male fertility problems in humans, but these findings could reveal one, previously unknown, factor."
These research findings mirror the results published by an American-Danish research group which has uncovered a possible link between high blood levels of PFCs – chemical compounds found in some household items – to lower levels of fertility in women.