A new study suggests that the French male sperm count is in decline.
Researchers said that their sperm count fell by one third between 1989 and 2005 after testing the sperm of 26,600 men.
BBC News reported that the number of millions of spermatozoa per milliliter declined by 32.3 percent, which is about 1.9 percent per year.
Normally shaped sperm declined by 33.4 percent.
The study compared data from the French database Fivnat which looks at sperm from reproductive centers from around the country.
Researchers were blunt in their appraisal of the findings.
"These results indicate a severe and generalized decrease in semen quality in France, possibly since the 1970s, which constitutes a serious public health warning,” said study author Joelle Le Moal, an environmental health epidemiologist, according to Bloomberg.
"Something in our modern lifestyle, diet or environment like chemical exposure, is causing this.”
Reuters reported that other countries have confirmed lower sperm counts among males including New Zealand, India, Tunisia. and Israel.
Yet, the results are seen as the first countrywide sperm count ever recorded.
It is believed that one in five young men have sperm counts low enough to impede fertility.
Researchers speculate that it may be a combination of lifestyle changes, such as a high fat diet, as well as exposure to chemicals on a daily basis.
The study was published in the journal Human Reproduction.