A new published study found that a chemical commonly found on fast-food wrappers and non-stick frying pans could seriously have a significant impact on male penis endowment.
According to the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, those who had been exposed to perfluoroalkyl compounds had significantly smaller penises than those who hadn’t.
Also referred to as PFCs, the compounds also lowered semen quality. They’re designed to make cooking easier, but it seems that they may have a bizarre effect on penises.
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substancesare a class of fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom.
The compounds are also found in drinking water in some places. In the study, researchers analysed young men living in Padua, Italy. Water there is known to be heavily polluted with PFCs.
383 male high-school students were examined, including 212 who had been exposed to PFCs through June 2017 and May. They took participant’s blood to measure sexual hormones, examined semen samples. They also took several measurements on their penises, including length, circumference, testicular volume and anogenital distance.
These chemicals had a significant effect on boys. Participants who weren’t exposed to PFCs had an average penis length of 3.94 inches, compared to an average of 3.44 inches in those who had. Exposed men were also one-fifth of an inch less girthy.
The Mirror explains:
In the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, the researchers, led by Andrea Di Nisio, wrote: “This study documents that PFCs have a substantial impact on human male health as they directly interfere with hormonal pathways potentially leading to male infertility.
“We found that increased levels of PFCs in plasma and seminal fluid positively correlate with circulating testosterone and with a reduction of semen quality, testicular volume, penile length, and AGD [anogenital distance].”
Worryingly, the researchers found the problem has affected young men from 1978 onwards – and the PFCs aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Instead, they suggest that the next move may be working out a way to remove PFCs from the blood.
Study authors call this a “substantial impact on human male health”.
The man-made chemicals have long been used in a wide range of consumer products. The list includes nonstick cookware, water-repellent fabrics and grease-resistant paper products. They are also used in firefighting foams. Exposures have been associated with an array of health problems, among them thyroid disease, weakened immunity, infertility risks and certain cancers. The compounds do not break down in the environment.
So, what can we do to keep ourselves safe? Di Nisio believes the next priority is figuring out how to safely remove PFCs from the blood. Until we can do so, and until more PFCs are banned or phased out, the penis outlook is far from sunny.
“At least here in Italy, it is very difficult to know if a product contains these chemicals,” he told IFLScience. “In the case of a product where it is explicitly stated ‘PFOA-free’, I do not feel safe anyway. PFOA is only one of hundreds of possible PFC compounds. They can all be dangerous… therefore it is very hard to avoid any contact with any PFC.”
What do you think?