Navigation Links
Environmental Chemicals May Hurt Chances of Pregnancy

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to common chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) may hamper a couple's efforts to conceive a child, a new study shows.

"This suggests that some environmental chemicals might be important for human reproduction, specifically the time it takes couples to get pregnant," said lead researcher Germaine Buck Louis, director of the division of epidemiology, statistics and prevention research at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Rockville, Md.

Despite being banned, PCBs and other similar chemicals are still present in the environment. "The chemicals in this paper are commonly referred to as persistent environmental chemical compounds, meaning that when they get into the environment they don't break down," Louis explained.

Exposure often originates in the family kitchen, where processed and high-fat foods harbor the compounds. Heating plastic containers in the microwave oven also ups the risk of exposure, experts say.

"Humans are exposed largely through their diet," Louis said. "It takes a long time for these chemicals to clear from the body, but the key is to try to minimize new exposure."

One way to do that is to trim the fat from fish and meat, which is where some of these chemicals are absorbed, the researchers noted.

Their report was published online Nov. 14 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

For the study, Louis' team collected data on 501 couples who gave blood samples so the researchers could measure the levels of these chemicals. In addition, the women kept a record of their menstrual cycles and the results of home pregnancy tests.

Over a year of follow-up, they found as the levels of chemicals increased, the odds of getting pregnant decreased. For women exposed to PCBs and the perfluorchemical known as perfluorooctane sulfonamide, the odds dropped by 18 percent to 21 percent.

Perfluorooctane sulfonamide belongs to a class of chemicals known as perfluoroalkyls, which have been used in fire-fighting foams.

For men, the odds dropped 17 percent to 29 percent for those exposed to PCBs and DDE, which is produced by degrading of the pesticide DDT. Although DDT was banned in the United States, it is still used in some countries, the researchers noted.

A previous study by this same group found high blood levels of lead and cadmium -- two common metals -- were also tied to delayed pregnancy.

PCBs have been used as coolants and lubricants in electrical equipment. They are in a category of chemicals known as persistent organochlorine pollutants and include industrial chemicals and chemical byproducts as well as pesticides.

These chemicals are ubiquitous and found in soil, water and in the food chain. They don't readily decay, and may stay in the environment for decades. Some of these chemicals, known as persistent lipophilic organochlorine pollutants, accumulate in fatty tissues.

Other chemicals, called perfluorochemicals, are used in clothing, furniture, adhesives, food packaging, heat-resistant, non-stick cooking surfaces and in the insulation of electrical wire.

Some of the delays in pregnancy may have been due to exposure to several chemicals, the researchers added.

"There is really no way to avoid exposure to these chemicals," said Shanna Swan, vice chair for research and mentoring in the department of preventive medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

"The best thing to do is keep your exposure down to a dull roar," she said.

Moreover, the effects of newer chemicals used to replace these older ones aren't yet known, Swan said.

To reduce exposure to these and other chemicals, Swan advises, eat pesticide-free food, don't eat processed food and don't microwave food in plastic containers.

In addition, Swan believes products should be labeled with their chemical contents.

Another expert, Dr. Christine Mullin, a reproductive endocrinologist/infertility specialist at the Center for Human Reproduction at North Shore-LIJ Health System in Manhasset, N.Y., commented that these findings are "not surprising."

"We have added so many pollutants to the environment that it's just a matter of time until it started to affect women's ability to conceive," she said.

Mullin noted that exposure to these chemicals affects men's sperm and may also affect women's eggs.

"Live as healthy a life as possible," she said. "Watch what you eat."

More information

For more information on fertility hazards, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Germaine Buck Louis, Ph.D., director, division of epidemiology, statistics and prevention research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Christine Mullin, M.D., reproductive endocrinologist/infertility specialist, Center for Human Reproduction, North Shore-LIJ Health System, Manhasset, N.Y.; Shanna Swan, Ph.D., professor and vice chair, research and mentoring, Department of Preventive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City; Nov. 14, 2012, Environmental Health Perspectives, online

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment announces 2012 Environmental Venture Project awards
2. Jaeckle Fleischmann Environmental Attorneys Recover Additional $5 Million for Solvent Chemical
3. Environmental Gene-Swapping May Play Part in Antibiotic Resistance
4. Virtual boundaries: How environmental cues affect motivation and task-oriented behavior
5. Tracking environmental causes of good and bad health
6. Environmentally friendly chemistry important for manufacturing pharmaceuticals
7. Social environmental factors affect rehospitalization risk in home healthcare patients
8. Chemicals in PVC Flooring Can Be Absorbed Into Childrens Bodies: Study
9. The Science of Tasty Tomatoes Lies in the Chemicals
10. Danger at Home Lurks in Pills, Plants, Chemicals and More
11. Simpler lifestyle found to reduce exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Environmental Chemicals May Hurt Chances of Pregnancy
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Brenntag ... exclusive channel partner for the Nutraceutical Specialties products into oral solid dosage in ... immediately. , “We are pleased to announce our expanded distribution agreement with ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... An inventor from ... in the womb. "My last baby had high blood pressure due to loud noises," ... to protect their babies from noise pollution as well as radio waves and microwaves." ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Since its inception, ... in independent living, assisted living and all other retirement options. Support for issues ... and research remains a top priority. , So it’s no surprise that ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... Sikka Software announced today that they are showcasing the ... to make complex business decisions by providing the tools and information they need to ... with 10 procedures customized by zip code. , The Sikka Software Ecosystem includes ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... the assets of DataTrade Solutions Inc., a Healthcare IT consulting, development and support ... the programming and technical experience available within DataTrade to extend the services currently ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... NEW YORK , November 27, 2015 ... health system is set to go online. The potential ... and processes is vast and far from fully exploited ... access to patient health records, either via mobile tablet ... ) --> ) ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... PHILADELPHIA , Nov. 27, 2015  Lannett ... that it has completed the acquisition of Kremers ... pharmaceuticals subsidiary of global biopharmaceuticals company UCB S.A. ... --> Lannett has acquired KU from UCB ... to certain adjustments, including a customary working capital ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... 2015 ... "2016 Global Tumor Marker Testing Market: ... Sales Segment Forecasts, Innovative Technologies, Instrumentation Review, ... their offering. --> ) ... "2016 Global Tumor Marker Testing Market: Supplier ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: