Men, beware! Exposure to noisy streets, air conditioners may increase male infertility

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    New Delhi: A new study warns that prolonged exposure to noisy streets or even an air conditioner at home can increase infertility in men.

    The scientists, from Seoul National University in the Republic of Korea, say it is important to consider noise when assessing environmental conditions that contribute to infertility.

    They found that exposure above the WHO night noise level (55 dB – equivalent to the noise of a suburban street) is linked to a significant increase in infertility.

    Noise has been linked to health problems, such as heart disease and mental illness, and has been shown to change social behaviour and interfere with the performance of complex tasks.

    Previous research focused on fertility in women has shown a link between exposure to noise and birth-related problems, such as premature birth, spontaneous abortion and congenital malformations.

    The new study reveals that long-term exposure to relatively low levels of noise, particularly at night, may contribute to the development of infertility in men.

    “Infertility is becoming a significant public health issue because of unexpected adverse effects on the health and quality of life and heavy expenditures on the health system,” said Jin-Young Min, from Seoul National University.

    “We know noise exposure has an effect on male fertility in animals, but our study is the first to show the risk of exposure to environmental noise on male infertility in humans,” said Min.

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