It came out a few weeks ago that Shanghai’s smog was leaving its residents with “ugly” sperm but—at least according to China Daily—these reports may have been premature (see what I did there?). There is no doubt that Chinese infertility is on the rise, but experts are disagreeing about the causes; the only thing worse than nation-wide funky sperm, of course, is nation-wide funky sperm without reason.
China Daily reports on the nation’s growing infertility concern, which is trending towards Children of Men proportions:
China has seen a rise in infertility in recent years. According to the 2012 China Infertility Research Report, the rate among people of childbearing age increased to 12.5 percent in 2010 from just 3 percent two decades earlier.
In some large cities, such as Shanghai and Beijing, the rate was 15 percent.
Sperm quality has also dropped. The sperm bank covering Jiangsu province said about 30 percent of donations do not meet the required standard.
Less than 20 percent of donations from white-collar workers are up to standard, and more than 60 percent from college students cannot be accepted, the bank said. […]
“This [last week’s reports] may be theoretically possible, but there is not enough scientific evidence to support the theory that air pollution causes infertility,” said Professor Kan Haidong at Fudan University, who has studied the link between the environment and human health.
This writer is admittedly not an expert on male fertility statistics, but a 15% infertility rate in Shanghai and Beijing seems out of this world double-crazy high. Perhaps the Third Plenum’s laxing of One Child Policy restrictions won’t be as useful as everyone had hoped.