I'm not sure if you were aware of this, but apparently the sperm counts of men all over the world have been declining in recent years; and now researchers think they might know one of the biggest reasons why.

According to a new study published in the journal Toxicological Sciences, microplastics may be largely to blame for causing a physiological hiring freeze at the sperm factories of men everywhere.

Microplastics are just what their namesake implies - tiny particles of plastic that are invisible to the naked eye. They are derived mainly from products made from plastic which have been discarded.

These infinitesimal swimmer killers can be found in every corner of the world, from the top of Mount Everest to the Mariana Trench, and are now being unwittingly ingested by the world's population every day en masse through their unavoidable presence in food and water.

Scientists say the particulates can lodge in the body's tissues, causing inflammation and increasing a person's risk of stroke, heart attack, and an early death (the IRS isn't pleased with that last one).

The newly-published study suggests the world's diminishing sperm counts are also related to inflammation caused by the consumption of microplastics, but more studies will be needed to confirm this empirically.

I must admit, even though I'm saddened to learn that my body has apparently been involuntarily riddled with the miniscule particles of my old G.I. Joe figures and every bottle of strawberry Nestle Quik that I threw away after imbibing it as a child, I am somewhat relieved to know that each of my sperms isn't being duped into making a similar mistake.

When I first read the headlines for the articles attached to this story, my brain conjured images of my little spermy friends becoming distracted from their usual routine and enticed by a confetti cloud of multi-colored plastic bits that they just couldn't resist gulping down; similar to the way a tank full of goldfish become frenzied when a copious amount of fish flakes are sprinkled above them and rain down like rainbow manna from marine animal heaven.

Nevertheless, it is quite alarming to know that our physical existence on Planet Earth is being threatened by yet another advent of the Industrial Revolution, and it may be too late to curb the worst of its possible impacts.

That said, I will admit to something that I know some of you may not appreciate nor agree with; although I don't consider myself to be overly misanthropic, I do feel we have a significant overpopulation problem planetwide, and aside from the potentially-life-threatening impacts of microplastics, I am secretly reveling just a little bit to know that one of our many mistakes which is destroying the Earth might eventually lead to our inability to create more people who will be part of the problem and not the solution.

In reality, I believe it's foolish to suggest that we are somehow so much greater than our Earthly home that we could be the only ones who might be responsible for Her ultimate prosperity or demise. It seems we need to learn how to be at one with our Earth Mother instead of continuing to bask in our own hubris until the microplastics at the center of its ignorance cause our own termination as an expression of Life in the Universe.

And as for the revelation that microplastics might have further lowered the sperm count of this middle-aged, Low T man, I'm gonna count that as a huge win in my own quest to avoid procreation during this particular lifespan. Perhaps one day I can finally ditch those microplastic-filled condoms and consummate in a way that's worry free.

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Gallery Credit: Heidi Kaye

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