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04/25/2021

Mt Sinai's Professor Shanna Swan Discusses Her Recently Published Book, "Countdown" (April 22nd)

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In her recently published volume, co-authored with Stacey Colina, Countdown: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race, discuss the relationship between our exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and the dramatic decline in global fertility rates over roughly the past half century – a finding that was initially documented in the early 1990s and again in 2017 when Professor Swan and her colleagues published a meta-analysis that received considerable attention.  Over the past four decades, the book authors' note, sperm levels among men in Western countries has declined by nearly 60 percent.  With adverse reproductive changes in males increasing by 1% per year, in theory at least, by 2045 Western men will be infertile.       

During this 35 minute discussion Professor Swan explains what are Endocrine Disruptive Chemicals (EDCs) and their effects.  She explains how EDCs adversely effect male sperm count and women's ability to reproduce along with lifestyle factors that exacerbate difficulty in reproduction, e.g., obesity and sedentary lifestyle, and negative side effects of testosterone of replacement therapy.   She discusses related declining fertility rates worldwide, the extent to which exposure to EDCs create an inter-generational reproductive problem, the extent to which homo sapiens qualify under the definition of an endangered species and what, if any, relationship there is between EDC exposure and gender fluidity and dysphoria.  The discussion concludes with Professor Swan's assessment of the extent to which EDCs have been regulated to date and what regulatory efforts should be made, for example, the US should take a lesson from the European Union's REACH program.                         

Dr. Shanna Swan is Professor of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Ichan School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai in New York City where is also a member of the Transdisciplinary Center on Early Environmental Exposures and the Mindich Child Health and Development Institute.  Professor Swan has worked for over twenty-five years to understand the threats posed by 0000072500014267606611 chemicals to our environment and our health, and, when necessary, to develop new paradigms to assess their risks.   Professor Swan works with a wide range of collaborators, including epidemiologists, biostatisticians, toxicologists, geneticists and systems biologists, to conduct studies and develop methods to evaluate the risks from such chemicals.  She has published more than 200 scientific papers and myriad book chapters and has been featured in extensive media coverage around the world. Her appearances include ABC News, NBC Nightly News, 60 Minutes, CBS News, PBS, the BBC, PRI Radio, and NPR, as well as in leading magazines and newspapers, ranging from The Washington Post to Bloomberg News to New Scientist.  

For information on Countdown, go to: https://www.shannaswan.com/countdown or  https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Count-Down/Shanna-H-Swan/9781982113667.

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