September 10, 2019

Air Pollution Harms Reproductive Health. Number 5 in a series

This last blog reports on the presentations given in the open session for the general public by two University of Utah Professors who are active clinicians with the Utah Center for Reproductive Medicine, University of Utah.

James Hotaling. MD, is a urologist and the leading male infertility expert in the Intermountain West. He presented scientific studies on the impact of air pollution on spermatogenesis.   Sperm production in men takes 74 days and during this time sperm and their precursor cells are very sensitive to environmental disturbances, including air pollution.  The impact of poor air quality on male reproductive health is profound and can have negative health effects on a man’s children and in some cases, his grandchildren.

Matthew Peterson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a reproductive endocrinologist. He reviewed the adverse impacts of poor air quality on pregnancy and fertility.  He emphasized for the general public that there is no safe level of particulate matter air pollution and cited a study of 312,944 people in 9 European countries as proof.  Ambient particulate matter conjugates with toxic chemicals and effect the growing fetus.  Particulate matter pollution ranks as the sixth leading risk factor for premature death globally.  Dr. Peterson also went on to discuss the health risks to persons residing in the Salt Lake region posed by the Salt Lake County Inland Port proposal.  This proposal will increase at a minimum a two-fold increase in diesel truck traffic and their PM 2.5 pollution this increase in air pollution will result in serious long-term adverse health and economic impact on the Salt Lake region.