Something weird is going on with human sperm production. For decades, scientists have warned that sperm counts are dropping among Western men, but no one has really been able to prove it. In what is now the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind, scientists have presented compelling evidence in support of this rather alarming assertion, showing that sperm counts have dropped more than 50 percent in just four decades.
For the past year and a half, citizens of Flint, Michigan have been struggling to get clean, safe water to drink. The city switched its water source from the Detroit water supply to the Flint river, causing a slew of public health problems, including high concentrations of E. coli bacteria and a recent outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that killed 10. But most disturbing of all was the high concentration of lead that leached from Flint’s old, outdated pipes into the water flowing to citizens’ homes, which may have exposed thousands of children to the toxic substance. How, exactly, does lead exposure affect a child, and are the effects permanent?