Car pollution may damage male fertility. Italian researcher Dr. Michele De Rosa thinks the nitrogen oxide and lead in exhaust fumes may be to blame. Young and middle-aged men are the largest group of commuters and they’re also the group most likely to want to become fathers.

De Rosa examined the sperm of 85 men who worked in toll booths and were exposed to about 6 hours of traffic pollution daily. They compared their findings to tests on 85 men of the same age living in the same area, who were not exposed to that degree of traffic pollution and found that the toll booth workers had poorer sperm quality and lower sperm motility, meaning they?re less likely to be able to fertilize a female egg. “In general, the sperm of the study group was more feeble and less active so it has a lower fertility potential,” De Rosa says. “Our study demonstrates that continuous exposure to traffic pollutants impairs sperm quality in young and middle-aged men. Analyzing the potential fertility of these workers after they have been removed from tollgate duty will add other important information.”

No matter what we’ve learned from science about fertility, children still seem like gifts of the angels.

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