Navigation Links
Do chemicals in the environment affect fertility?
Date:5/20/2008

Our day-to-day exposure to chemicals is on the increase. From food packaging to the air we breathe, every day contact with potentially-toxic substances could be affecting our health and our fertility.

Researchers at The University of Nottingham are set to take part in one of the first studies of the effect of environmental chemicals on female mammals. Part of the Reproductive Effects of Environmental Chemicals in Females Consortium (REEF), Dr Richard Lea of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science and Dr Kevin Sinclair of the School of Biosciences will receive a 500,000 grant for their work researching how these chemicals impact on mammalian fertility. REEF will receive a total of 2.4m in funding from the EU.

Dr Lea and Dr Sinclair will study the impact of low levels of environmental chemicals on sheep foetuses in the womb. The specific chemicals to be studied are found in human sewage sludge which is frequently spread on fields where sheep graze prior to entering the human food chain.

The amount of chemicals absorbed is thought to be so minute that they would be difficult to discern through testing. However, through a process known as bioaccumulation, chemicals can become concentrated in individuals over a number of years, stored mostly in fat tissue. Though these chemicals may not be directly harmful to these individuals, if they are passed on for example, through gestation in the womb or through the food chain they might have consequences for human health.

One of the concerns of bioaccumulation is that when the fat is broken down and passed on for example during the breast feeding process the offspring are exposed to a concentration of chemicals that the mother has built up over the years, said Dr Sinclair.

Colleagues in Aberdeen have provided precise measurements of specific chemicals in the environment and in animal tissues. These often take the form of chemicals which mimic hormones.

These chemicals come from a variety of sources including plastics, pesticides and industrial waste and many of these persist in the environment for a long time albeit at very low levels, said Dr Lea. The problem is even low levels can still have an effect.

The three-year study will look at how chemicals are passed on from mother to foetus, and how this impacts on the foetus. It is thought that, although this generation of animals may have no problems getting pregnant, the next and future generations could have fertility problems stemming from exposure to environmental chemicals in the womb.

Dr Lea said: Though male fertility has been the subject of studies in recent years, this will be the first time that female fertility has been examined. Currently, less is known about the effects of hormone-like chemicals on the developing female foetus, so the consequences for reproductive development in females may be greater than in males.

Were not talking about obvious congenital defects here, but tiny changes caused by exposure to chemicals that have an impact on reproductive function changes over generations rather than immediate effect, added Dr Sinclair.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tara de Cozar
tara.decozar@nottingham.ac.uk
44-011-584-68545
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Detecting dangerous chemicals with lasers, exploring the brains circuitry with light and more
2. New regulations tighten controls on restricted chemicals
3. Chemicals used as fire retardants could be harmful, UC-Riverside researchers say
4. NAS report offers new tools to assess health risks from chemicals
5. Green tea boosts production of detox enzymes, rendering cancerous chemicals harmless
6. Observations from space: NASA environmental data and lung disease
7. New study links fate of personal care products to environmental pollution and human health concerns
8. Fungi have a hand in depleted uraniums environmental fate
9. Environmental fate of nanoparticles depends on properties of water carrying them
10. Stevens Center for Science Writings honors environmental critics with Green Book Award, April 30
11. Gene-environment interaction in yeast gene expression
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/6/2017)... -- Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), Biometrics, ... (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities / ... Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), Hospitality ... looking for a definitive report on the $27.9bn Access ... ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... YORK , April 4, 2017   EyeLock ... today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark ... patent broadly covers the linking of an iris image ... same transaction) and represents the company,s 45 th ... latest patent is very timely given the multi-modal biometric ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... Trends, opportunities and forecast in this market ... (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, hand geometry, vein ... use industry (government and law enforcement, commercial and retail, ... others), and by region ( North America ... Pacific , and the Rest of the World) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... in 2017, celebrating 10 years of successes helping medical technology companies and inventors develop ... company to a renowned full-service national engineering firm with a portfolio of clients in ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Pittcon ... exhibitions for analytical and scientific instruments. This year’s symposium, organized by the Pittcon ... Mass Spectrometry for Bioanalytical Applications.” This dynamic presentation will discuss novel ionization processes, ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... Wisconsin (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... a new family of 6” modular downlights designed to stay tightly sealed and ... including areas where damp and wet location listings just aren't enough, such as: ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... and is threatened by various biotic and abiotic factors. During this educational webinar, ... history of coffee, as well as gain a better understanding of how genomics ...
Breaking Biology Technology: