Men who are exposed to high levels of pollution are more likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction, a new study has found.
In a study on rats, scientists found that exposure to the fumes caused decreased blood flow to the the genitals.
They used 40 rats in the experiment – a control group of 10, who had clean non-polluted air, then three groups of 10 each exposed to vehicle fumes for two hours, four hours and six hours daily for three months.
They found that the rats who were exposed to the fumes for four hours and six hours had ‘significant reduction of erectile function’.
As well as affecting the genitals, the study found that their lung capacity was decreased, meaning exposure to pollution might make you breathless as well.
The study said: ‘For the first time, our study revealed the deleterious effect of VE (vehicle exhaust) on penile erection ‘Our results raise concerns about the potential role played by long-term exposure to gasoline VE in the development of erectile dysfunction.’
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The results, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, show for humans, living on a busy road and being exposed to pollution on a regular basis could cause some issues.