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The chemicals in non-stick pans could be having a surprising impact on penis size |

The chemicals in non-stick pans could be having a surprising impact on penis size

In bizarre news of the day, the size of men’s penises has been linked to chemicals used in non-stick frying pans.

A new study has found that chemicals, known as perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs), are having a surprising impact on men’s penises and potentially making them smaller.


The chemicals, called perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs), are found in a number of everyday items, including the non-stick coat on cookware, fast food packaging and medicines.

Researchers, from the University of Padua, revealed that PFCs could be harming hormone signalling, which in turn could lead to ‘significantly’ smaller penises and less mobile sperm.

The study, published in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism, measured 383 penises, 212 from the Padua region of Italy and 171 others from outside the area.

Padua is one of four locations in the world where water is known to be heavily polluted with PFCs.

Scientists found that men who grew up in the area had significantly smaller penises.

Results revealed that the average penis was around half an inch shorter when flaccid as well as being noticeably thinner.

Study authors believe river pollution from the run-off of a chemical factory and wastewater treatment plant could be behind the increased levels of PFCs in the area.

Commenting on the findings lead study author Andrea Di Nisio said: “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 impact of the chemicals could have been experienced since the 70s.

“As the first report on water contamination of PFCs goes back to 1977, the magnitude of the problem is alarming,” Dr Di Nisio explained. “It affects an entire generation of young individuals, from 1978 onwards.”

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