Fracking Pollution Potential Danger to Testosterone Levels

Posted by Dr. Michael White, Updated on June 19th, 2020

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Hormone Production is affected by a variety of factors, many of which are environmental. The human body is highly susceptible to chemical contamination, especially during fetal development. It's vitally important that we monitor new and existing technologies to ensure that we mitigate physiological and ecological harm.

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Negatively Impact Sex Hormone Production

Chemicals that impact the body's natural Hormone Production negatively are known as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals. One of the most well-known is Bisphenol A, which is common in everyday plastics and mimics the physiological effects of Estrogen.

Various industrial processes also give off endocrine-disrupting byproducts, and it appears that Fracking is no different.

What Is Fracking?

Fracking is the common euphemism for Hydraulic Fracturing. It is a form of oil/gas extraction which utilizes a cocktail of hazardous chemicals to pump fossil fuels deep out of the earth.

As we continue to deplete easily accessible fossil fuel reserves, we have to resort to more resource-intensive methods to unlock natural gas and oil. Fracking uses pressure and chemicals to break up rock formations to unlock trapped natural resources.

Fracking and Fertility

Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of these chemicals likely impact the healthy production of Testosterone. A recent lab research study found that Fracking could lead to fertility issues and impotence in men. Many of these chemicals are noted biocides, which are highly poisonous.

Researchers involved in this study focused on the California Fossil Fuel Industry. California is notable for having some of the strictest and most detailed ecological legislation in the country, which makes it much easier to access documentation regarding the chemicals used in the Fracking process.

Because this study focused specifically on Testosterone, researchers narrowed the field of potential chemical offenders down utilizing computer technology. Instruments analyzed the chemicals released into the air by industrial Fracking. Of the chemicals emitted, sixty were small enough to potentially latch onto Testosterone Receptors. Of the sixty suspects, researchers found that five particular fracking chemicals had the capability to negatively interact with Testosterone Receptors. Furthermore, these chemicals are theorized to have further effects on the endocrine system at large.

Genapol X-100 Disrupts Testosterone Receptors

After using scientific modeling to reveal potential culprits for endocrine disruption, they further put these results to the test with live cell cultures. Of the five Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals that were established, one chemical had a significant impact on the function of endocrine cell cultures—Genapol X-100—which is an industrial detergent used in the majority of California Fracking operations.

This is necessary research because it's critical to understand precisely how Industrial Fracking impacts the environment and human physiology. Because this is preliminary research, it's impossible to measure the impact that Genapol X-100 has on human populations near Fracking sites, but it certainly warrants further study.

How Does Fracking Effect Nearby Communities?

Endocrine Disruptors can have a devastating impact on sperm counts and overall fertility, and can even increase the risk of Testicular Cancer. Prior research has shown that Fracking leads to an undeniable increase in pollution in the area near Fracking Sites. It's even possible that certain chemicals could lead to Endocrine Disruption during fetal development, which can alter the course of testicle formation.

Previous research has shown that Fracking has enormous consequences for both the environment and human development. Studies have shown that Fracking suppresses newborn birth weight, and we've long known that methane release associated with Fracking has negative climate consequences. Studies like this are critical because they outline the dangers related to Fracking and how various industrial processes negatively impact human health and function.

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