Maintaining good penis health is a no-brainer as a goal, and many men take great pains to keep their penis in great shape. Exercising, eating right, cutting out smoking, watching alcohol intake, using a penis health crème—all of these are things men do to keep their favorite organ healthier and happier—which in turn can keep it in better shape to function properly. But sometimes outside forces can come into play that can bring about erectile dysfunction issues, even for men who take very good care of their equipment. One such factor likely is pollution, at least as evidenced by a recent animal study.

About this study

A study entitled, “Elucidating Mechanisms of Long-Term Gasoline Vehicle Exhaust Exposure-Induced Erectile Dysfunction in a Rat Model,” was conducted at Guangzhou University and published online in the journal Sexual Medicine.

In this study, a bunch of rats were put into four different groups, with 10 rats in each group. (This kind of segmentation is typical of many medical studies.) The first group of rats (the lucky ones, you might say) were not exposed to any motor vehicle exhaust. The other three groups were exposed to different levels over a three-month period. One group was exposed to this pollution for two hours a day, five days a week. Another group got the gas exhaust four hours a day, five days a week, and the fourth group was subjected to it for six hours a day, five days a week. (Again, this kind of selective exposure is common for such tests.)

Now, it’s known that breathing in exhaust fumes is not good for health in general, but the researchers were specifically looking at how lung function and erectile dysfunction were impacted. They tested lung and erectile function in all the rats in each of the four groups. Sure enough, there was pronounced erectile dysfunction among the groups exposed for four and six hours, as compared to those who weren’t exposed at all (the control group). The reasons for this appeared to be inflammation, pulmonary dysfunction, and a decrease in nitric oxide, which is important for helping penile blood vessels expand so that blood can enter the penis during the arousal phase and enable it to become fully erect.


This study was conducted in rats, so it’s not possible to take the results and definitively state that exposure to pollution over time raises the risk for erectile dysfunction in humans. But to do that, a similar study would need to be conducted with humans—and what man wants to voluntarily breathe in exhaust fumes for six hours a day—especially if it might affect how well his penis works?

But it does seem likely that air pollution has the potential to increase the risk of erectile dysfunction in men and that men who live in heavily polluted environments may want to take steps to lessen their exposure. That can be easier said than done, but some suggestions include:

- Wearing a nose-and-mouth mask when in high-pollution areas

- Avoiding walking or biking in high-pollution areas

- Finding alternate routes to avoid high-traffic areas

- Using an air purifier in the car

Pollution and erectile dysfunction are threats to the penis, so it also pays to maintain a serious penis health regimen. That means including daily application of a superior penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) as part of one’s penis care routine. Most men should select a cream that contains both L-arginine and alpha-lipoic acid. The former is an amino acid that helps to boost production of nitric oxide; as mentioned previously, this can help keep penile blood vessels more receptive to increased blood flow. The latter is a potent antioxidant that fights excess free radicals; left on their own, free radicals can cause oxidative stress that can damage the penis.