• Count Down

  • How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race
  • By: Shanna H. Swan, Stacey Colino - contributor
  • Narrated by: Cynthia Farrell
  • Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (267 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the tradition of Silent Spring and The Sixth Extinction, an urgent, “disturbing, empowering, and essential” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) book about the ways in which chemicals in the modern environment are changing - and endangering - human sexuality and fertility on the grandest scale, from renowned epidemiologist Shanna Swan.

In 2017, author Shanna Swan and her team of researchers completed a major study. They found that over the past four decades, sperm levels among men in Western countries have dropped by more than 50 percent. They came to this conclusion after examining 185 studies involving close to 45,000 healthy men. The result sent shockwaves around the globe - but the story didn’t end there. It turns out our sexual development is changing in broader ways, for both men and women and even other species, and that the modern world is on pace to become an infertile one.

How and why could this happen? What is hijacking our fertility and our health? Count Down unpacks these questions, revealing what Swan and other researchers have learned about how both lifestyle and chemical exposures are affecting our fertility, sexual development - potentially including the increase in gender fluidity - and general health as a species. Engagingly explaining the science and repercussions of these worldwide threats and providing simple and practical guidelines for effectively avoiding chemical goods (from water bottles to shaving cream) both as individuals and societies, Count Down is “staggering in its findings” (Erin Brockovich, The Guardian) and “will serve as an awakening” (The New York Times Book Review).

©2020 Shanna H. Swan. All rights reserved. (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Another Example of How We Are Poisoning Ourselves

This was a very illuminating book, and shows how we continue to pump destructive chemicals into our environment ... long after we know the harm they are doing.

The only issue I have with the book is Dr. Swan's position that one result of this chemical onslaught -- the drop in fertility that is the focus of the book -- is a catastrophe. I'm one of those people she alludes to in the introduction who believe that on a planet with 7 billion people, headed to 9 or 10 billion, leaving destruction everywhere in our wake, a drop in human fertility ... and thus human numbers ... would be a long overdue and welcome correction to a population that is out of control.

I learned a lot about the science and physiology of human reproduction along the way, as well as how these chemicals can alter our genetic make-up, including gender expression. A very insightful book.

6 people found this helpful

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Interesting, eyeopening and direct science.

Swan makes a solid case for the inevitable decline in reproductive rate - around the globe. From humans to the environment this review spans several angles of a complex problem and makes them relatable to the average reader. Some scientific or psychological knowledge is recommended to really understand the limits and implications of the studies used. Overall, a solid take-away on living clean for a soon-to-be parent.

4 people found this helpful

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Take this seriously

Imagine being the child in the womb of a mother exposed to harmful chemicals in our daily lives. That child if male has a higher chance of stillbirth and if he makes it out, has a high change of his genitals being forever messed up or testicular cancer, and many other things. That innocent child has been handed a terrible hand of cards in the game of life. Or imagine a future where humans can no longer reproduce by year 2045. Good luck living in retirement when there's no more younger people to keep society working and chugging along. If anything, you reading this, most likely have abnormal hormon levels, effecting your fertility, sex drive, emotions, muscles and fat levels, cognitive abilities and so on. All thanks to toxins found in our everyday environment. Let's change this.

3 people found this helpful

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Terrifying book.

About environmental toxins, especially ubiquitous endocrine disruptive compounds, which are progressively ending our reproductive ability.

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Everyone should read

I rarely write reviews, but thought this was important. This book is full of vital information that everyone should know. It is a bit dry, and the performer does not any sense of comedic timing, but the topic should be important to EVERYONE, regardless of your desire to have children. Please read this book!

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Must read

Beautifully written, yet terrifying. It is a must read for high schoolers and up to retirees. It is the new Silent Spring. We have only this world and we are seriously threatened. Thank you to the author for all you are doing.

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Great resource but leftist agenda

The book contained great information from numerous studies on how chemicals and lifestyle choices are impacting human fertility.

This information is useful to take steps in our own lives and communities to improve our health and environment.

The author falls for the fatal conceit that technocrats at the World Economic Forum can move humanity toward a better future.

That and she embraces the revolution in gender identity that has plagued the West.

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A Real Mix of Emotions

Impressive and alarming research. A mix of emotions for sure. Anyone who's paying attention shouldn't be surprised that pollution and chemicals in our environment do us and other lifeforms significant harm. It should also not be surprising to learn that most aren't paying attention and that those with the power to advance positive change ignore these problems for a number of reasons: greed, laziness, power.

As someone who, with his partner, has decided not to have children, I definitely felt some, only slightly self-conscious, schadenfreude reading this book; accompanied by the weak hum of the usual terror that comes with most things one reads today; and frustration, because Swan, towards the last third of the book, ends up parroting the same bullshit we keep hearing about economic growth and aging or shrinking populations. As if capitalism is some natural law like gravity. It's the same old joke: it's easier to imagine the end of the world, in this case, the extinction of the human race, than the end of capitalism. The only people I hear today who actually think we need more people on the planet and not less, are religious zealots and economists. Swan doesn't even acknowledge, she hardly even mentions, the potential ecological benefits of fewer human beings on this planet. Benefits not only to Homo sapiens, but all other non-human lifeforms on this planet!

If you're someone like me, who believes modern industrial civilization has overshot its carrying capacity, then you'll probably find it hard to express exactly how you feel about this book.

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Awesome.

Should be manditory reading for every person on the planet. Doomed just had a lovely ring to it.

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Amazing

This is one of the most eye opening books I’ve read in awhile. It’s a must read!

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  • Fin Hunt
  • 02-28-21

Illuminating

I finished this book in one day. I was hooked from start to finish. shocked by each fact. The truth hurts. Are modern world and living habits. The chemicals we use in are everyday life. pump into the air and sea. Altering are DND and hormones.
The world is in flux. The future of the human race. Is on the line like never before.

This book explains situation. In great detail. The hard steps that must be taken to prevent are extinction.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Roberto Zamorano
  • 07-06-21

Wow!

Very hard to listen to the content, but really well written and narrated. Highly recommend! Definitely a must read in our current world.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-23-22

A must listen

I first listened to Shona Swan on the JRE podcast and found that interview incredibly interesting and had to find out more.

Sections of the book was a little bit too statistical so someone with less stats based knowledge may not enjoy those bits as much.

The performance by Cynthia Farrell was up beat and kept me enaged the whole time.

Thank you to you both for bringing all of this incitefull information to light for someone like me who struggles to sit down and read but can binge an audiobook

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-02-21

eye opening

as the world seems to normalise mental health and gender issues. this book provides a lot of possible causes. the first step in change is to identify the problem and I hope this book can get that process started.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-22-21

Incredibly insightful and important read

This was an extremely thorough, yet accessible, book addressing a major health crisis. I would thoroughly encourage any health or science interested reader to read this book and spread its message.