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24 February 2009

Air pollution hurts sperm

Compared to male mice that breathed filtered air, those exposed to polluted air had 60 percent more genetic mutations in their sperm, researchers report.

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Compared to male mice that breathed filtered air, those exposed to polluted air had 60 percent more genetic mutations in their sperm, says a Canadian study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The findings suggest that air pollution may be linked to inheritable DNA damage, Agence France Presse reported.

For this study, one group of mice was exposed to unfiltered air from steel mills and highways. Another group of mice was exposed to the same air after it had been cleaned using high-efficiency HEPA filters.

"These findings show that chemical pollutants may cause heritable mutation. Further research is required to confirm these results, and to evaluate the potential risk to humans exposed to particulate air pollution," AFP cited the study authors as saying. – (HealthDayNews)

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