It appears a hazardous environmental exposure is impacting Missouri-area testicles. Sperm production is consistently below norm: lower than New York City males, even. And, it's not from bumpy roads, tight pants, or age.
The sample of Columbia men had average sperm counts of 58.7 million sperm per milliliter, or about 57 percent of those in New York. All cities studied were considered [in the USA] within the normal range, but Columbia [Missouri] pushes at the lower end...However, a single likely environmental cause is not convincingly identified. And, synergistic effects, though speculated on in the coverage, were not measured. Low sperm counts have been found in many populations around the world: often in studies designed in such a way as to open more questions than can be reasonably explained by the results. This work certainly indicates that Men of Missouri need some more scientific attention.
Because the men in the Missouri study were from different backgrounds, variable ages and occupations, and they had lived in the area for both short and long periods of time, scientists labeled the cause for the low sperm counts "environmental." They said drinking water was the most likely cause.
And here's the thing. They still have plenty of babies in Missouri. The issue is much more open ended. What sort of babies? How healthy are they and how healthy will they be as they develop? What besides sperm count, as yet undetected, may be happening?