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April 20, 2021

Population Implosion?

Population Implosion?

This week we take a look at some recently scientific research which suggests that instead of a population boom - we are on the verge of a population implosion.

Recently I came across a very fascinating series of articles on various outlets which outlines a single thread - we are on the verge of a population implosion and widespread infertility. This population implosion is due to changes in society (people getting married at a later age, people having their first child later in life then in the past), health issues (obesity, smoking, heavy drinking, marijuana usage), chemicals in the environment which mimic estrogen, and microplastics in the food chain.

The impact of these chemicals and microplastics is devastating to both males and females. One of the most damaging chemicals is BPA - and is one of the key reasons this chemical has been banned in some countries, and many companies promote that their plastics are BPA free. What exactly does BPA (and other estrogen mimicking chemicals) do to the human body?

Not surprisingly it impacts the two sexes differently. For males, it has not only physical changes, fertility related changes, and changes to the brain. For example males exposed to BPA/microplastic in the womb may have visibly a smaller taint, increased genital abnormalities, smaller penises, and smaller testicles. The non-visible changes due to BPA/microplastic exposure both in the womb and after can include reduced testosterone, lower sperm count, reduction in seminal fluid, increased testicular cancer, and increased erectile dysfunction.

Concerning lower sperm count, between the years of 1973-2011 there was an estimated 59% decrease in sperm count in the average man. According to Shanna Swan, by the year 2045 the average male could potentially produce 0 sperm. Besides the decrease in sperm, there has also been a decrease in testosterone on the whole, with some men at the age of 35 having the same level of testosterone as a 75 year old man in the past. Between all these changes, it paints a dire picture for the future of men as the years go by. Testosterone, the main sex hormone of males, is responsible for such things as a man’s muscle mass, skeletal frame, sex drive, facial hair, and other features typically associated with a man.

This increase in estrogen mimicking chemicals also causes a change in the development of young boys. Typically (according to a few studies that Swan citied) there is a language difference between young girls and boys, with girls typically having a larger vocabulary compared to boys of the same age. Due to the exposure to BPA in the womb, this difference in known words tends to decreases. Swan admits more studying needs to be done in this area but she wanted to call this out as a potential issue which may continue to cause problems in the future.

While the list is not nearly as large for females, it is just as important. Females exposed to BPA and microplastics may experience an increase miscarriage rate, earlier puberty and overall lower fertility. One of the articles has the following quote which summarizes the state we are currently in.

In Some parts of the world, the average twenty something women today is less fertile then her grandmother at thirty-five.

Due to these health issues and various other factors (including changes in society, increase in usage of birth control, etc…) we are quickly seeing a decrease in the replacement fertility around the world. Currently 50% of countries in the world have a replacement fertility below 2.1, with most studies agreeing that by 2050 69% of the countries in the world will have this low (or lower) of a replacement fertility. This is important because scientist agree that a replacement fertility below 2.1 will result in a decrease in population. At current we are (worldwide) down to a replacement fertility of 2.4 - only .3 above the replacement fertility required to keep the worldwide population steady.

Since this is a very science heavy episode - the following links have been provided as they formed the basis for the information. All news sites(the sites that are just scientific papers are not rated) are Newsguard verified.


  1. https://theintercept.com/2021/01/24/toxic-chemicals-human-sexuality-shanna-swan/

  2. https://www.axios.com/falling-sperm-count-endocrine-disruption-59c8be98-bfad-4e9b-8738-985ece67a21d.html

  3. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/18/toxic-chemicals-health-humanity-erin-brokovich?CMP=oth_b-aplnews_d-1

  4. https://academic.oup.com/humupd/article/23/6/646/4035689

  5. https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/20459714-barrett-2014-environmental-exposure-to-di-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate-is-associated-with-low-interest-in-sexual-activity-in-premenopausal-women

  6. https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/20460026-li-2010-relationship-between-urine-bisphenol-a-level-and-declining-male-sexual-function

  7. https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/20460201-evans-2014-prenatal-bisphenol-a-exposure-and-maternally-reported-behavior-in-boys-and-girls

  8. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.TFRT.IN

  9. https://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/replacement-fertility-declines-worldwide#:~:text=A%20half%2Dcentury%20ago%20six,report%20below%2Dreplacement%20level%20rates.

  10. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/feb/26/falling-sperm-counts-human-survival

  11. https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5316830-EDCs-Androgenic-Activity-Perfluoroakyl.html