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Chemicals and Human Reproduction

Shanna Swan, an epidemiologist in Columbia, Missouri is investigating the effects of chemicals found in tap water. She and her team have discovered evidence of human vulnerability, reporting high miscarriage rates in women who drink tap water with elevated levels of chlorine by-products. Now they are looking at the reproductive health of men in cities versus farm areas. Their studies are revealing lower sperm counts in rural areas where exposure to farming chemicals through tap water is more likely. Water treatment plants are not designed to remove farm chemicals so it is possible that men in Missouri are getting these pollutants right from the faucets in their own kitchens.

What makes you most fearful for the future?
Swan: “I am increasingly fearful about the role of industry in national science programs, such as NIH and EPA. Without independent, unbiased review of grants, science that challenges the status quo will not be funded...”

See Shanna Swan's full Q&A »



Next: Mercury Plants »


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